Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary

Summary:   Ramona likes being big enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her?  If Mrs. Kemp didn't look after Ramona, her mother couldn't work full time.  If Ramona's mother didn't work, her father couldn't return to college.  Ramona does get to ride the school bus by herself this year.  And despite teasing by Danny the Yard Ape, she's determined to enjoy the third grade; her new teacher, Mrs. Whaley; and learning to read and write.  If only Mother would not remind Ramona every morning to be nice to Willa Jean Kemp.  If only her parents wouldn't quarrel at home.  If only Ramona didn't get sick one horrible day and throw up -- at school.  But being a patient has its advantages.  Even book reports and rainy Sundays have a bright side.  In Ramona's world, being eight isn't easy, but it's never dull!  ( Summary from book - Image from www.submarino.com )

My Review:  I adore Ramona Quimby.  She’s moody, mischievous, smart, curious, and quite the handful. In short, Ramona is a bit of every girl and she is definitely the literary equivalent of my middle daughter Sophie.  Down to the hair cut.  Seriously, they could be twins. 

When reading to my daughters, I try to find books that will appeal both of them -- my five-year-old, who still likes picture books, and my seven-year-old, who has moved into advanced chapter ooks.  The Ramona series is perfect because it mixes engaging chapters with really cute illustrations.  I read these books a long time ago, and had forgotten that Ramona Quimby, Age 8 is not the first book in the series.  It’s the third, preceded by Ramona the Pest and Ramona the Brave.  Oh well.  I didn’t feel the loss.  This book can stand on its own.

I didn’t realize how many of my favorite “Ramona moments” came from this book -- the egg debacle, the improvised dinner, the book report, and many more.   I’ve had these moments mulling around in the back of my head since I was little and can still remember my youthful fascination with Ramona’s brand new pink pearl eraser.  Although this book is written for children, I found it thoroughly amusing and loved that I could sincerely empathize with Sophie's Ramona’s parents.   I recommend this book as a wonderful read aloud (or read alone) novel for children.
My Kids’ Thoughts:  Sophie said, “I sort of like it and I sort of don’t.  I liked the egg story and the throw up story.”

Kaisa said, “Ramona is funny and it’s a really good book. My favorite story was where Beezus and Ramona had to cook dinner, because I like to cook and I kind of wish I could make up my own recipes.” 
My Rating: 5 Stars

Sum it up:  Read this book or I will punch you in the nose!

2 comments:

Julie @ Read Handed said...

Love Ramona! I read all the Ramona books as a kid. It would be fun to reread them now and see how the experience changes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Caren Kristine said...

This is one of my all time favorite books. It is usually to find a book that I loved and that my girls also love.

I WAS Ramona, and my youngest is also a Ramona! Must run in the family.

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