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Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Ramona Quimby)by Beverly Cleary
Synopses & Reviews
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 By Beverly Cleary
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 from 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 each 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.
Why is it so hard for Ramona to be nice to Howie Kemp's four-year-old sister Willa Jean? Why does Ramona's mother say that getting along at the Kemps' is Ramona's job in the family?
How does Ramona manage to deal with Danny, a boy on her school bus, when he calls her Bigfoot? Why is it that, once she gets her eraser back from him, Ramona begins to sort of like him?
Why does Mrs. Whaley, Ramona's third grade teacher, call Sustained Silent Reading period D.E.A.R.? Why doesn't Ramona like the name? Why is it the best part of the school day, according to Ramona and Howie? How does Ramona use Sustained Silent Reading after school to help her get along with Willa Jean?
Who started the hard-boiled egg fad at school? What happens when Ramona tries to follow the fad?
What does Ramona overhear Mrs.Whaley saying about her and why does it hurt her feelings? Do you think Ramona is really a show-off and a nuisance?
When Ramona and her older sister Beezus complain about what they are eating for dinner, Mr. Quimby decides that the two girls will make dinner the following night. Do you think this is a reasonable punishment? Were you surprised that the dinner Beezus and Ramona came up with was such a success? Would you know how to make dinner (from scratch) if your parents asked you to? What would you make?
Ramona makes an effort to be less of a nuisance, but suddenly the most terrible thing happens and she becomes a "supernuisance" by throwing up at school! Then, at the risk of being a show-off, in place of a book report Ramona writes a kind of commercial to "sell" her book. It turns out Mrs. Whaley doesn't have a bad opinion of Ramona after all. Why are Ramona's teachers always so important to her?
What is the "happy ending" to the day when the Quimby's go out for dinner together one dismal rainy Sunday when everyone is cross?
Riding the school bus alone isn't the only new experience making third grade exciting for Ramona Quimby. From befriending a boy called Yard Ape to delivering her book report in the style of a television commercial, Ramona's enthusiasm for life is infectious and irresistible.
That's not to say all is perfect. Having to go to the Kemps' house after school is Ramona's own particular burden—especially the chore of being nice to pesky little Willa Jean. When Ramona gets sick and throws up in class, she feels as though things can't get worse!
In this Newbery Honor Book, newly illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, Beverly Cleary lovingly chronicles Ramona's experiences as she faces all of her third-grade challenges with imagination and determination.
Penelope Crumb's best friend Patsy Cline Roberta Watson is becoming best friends with another girl in class, so Penelope decides she needs to win her back. Compliments and presents fail—and Penelope is afraid she'll lose Patsy Cline forever, so she decides to swipe Patsy's necklace and start a secret museum to remember all the people she cares about, in case they leave her too. But stealing turns out not to be the best plan, when Grandpa Felix calls the police about his missing camera, forcing Penelope to confess. Now she's lost both Patsy Cline AND her museum. But in the end she makes a huge personal sacrifice to repair her friendship with Patsy and finds out that drawing pictures—what she likes to do best!—is a way to make a personal museum that doesn't involve any sort of stealing.
About the Author
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school’s low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.
By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.
When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, "From my own experience and from the world around me." She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in "Drop Everything and Read" activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.
Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.
Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.
Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished. HarperCollins Children’s Books recently announced that the film option for Cleary’s classic book character, Ramona Quimby, had been sold to Fox 2000 and Denise DiNovi Productions. In addition, Portland, Oregon has proudly created The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, in the park where Beverly used to play.
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