About the Book: Ramona Quimby is the youngest of all the famous characters in Mrs. Cleary’s wonderful Henry Huggins stories. She is also far and away the most deadly. Readers of the earlier books will remember that Ramona has always been a menace to Beezus, her older sister, to Henry, and to his dog Ribsy. It is not that Ramona deliberately sets out to make trouble for other people. She simply has more imagination than is healthy for any one person.
In this book Ramona and her imagination really come into their own. Starting with a fairly mild encounter with the librarian, which is harder on Beezus than anyone else, Ramona goes from strength to strength, winding up by inviting her entire kindergarten class to a party at her home without mentioning it to her mother. The riot that ensues is probably the most hilarious episode in this extremely funny book, which proves that Mrs. Cleary’s imagination is almost as lively as Ramona’s.
My Two Cents: This is Cleary’s only book that features Beezus as the main character, and while I love Beezus and identify with her, Ramona steals the show. It’s easy to see why this little girl sparked a whole series, and why that series has been around since my mother was a little girl. Cleary’s characters are absolutely endearing and her writing is timeless and lovely. And also hilarious.
Grade Level: 2-5
- Check out Beverly Cleary’s website
- Check out this fabulous list of resources from Blanchard Elementary.
- Do one of the crafts from Beezus’s 202 Things to Do on a Rainy Afternoon, like make a necklace from pumpkin seeds or make furniture from milk cartons.
- Learn to play the harmonica (or mouth organ), hopefully even more musically than Ramona does!
- Do any of the fun things Ramona does in this book–make applesauce, play tiddlywinks, or just blow into a straw as hard as you can to see what will happen. 🙂
More to Read:
- All of Ramona’s other adventures, beginning with Ramona the Pestand ending (for now) with Just for Me: My Ramona Quimby Journal
- Another classic story of pesky younger siblings: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
- Another mischief-making and totally endearing girl: Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
- Another fabulous sister story with a classic feel: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall