Synopses & Reviews
Ramona Quimby is sure fourth grade will be "the best year of her life, so far." She can show off her calluses from swinging on the rings in the park, sit across the aisle from the boy she calls Yard Ape, and enjoy her cheerful new teacher, Mrs. Meacham. Most exciting of all, Ramona has a new best friend, Daisy.
Fourth grade doesn't turn out quite the way Ramona has hoped. Mrs. Meacham wants her to improve her spelling. Ramona also must be a good role model for her baby sister, Roberta. And Mrs. Quimby wants her to spend more time with the super-perfect Susan. Fourth-grade life isn't always easy, but it's full of adventure, and at the end of it all -- a "zeroteenth" birthday to celebrate!
"Considering that Ramona made her first title appearance in 1955, Cleary (along with illustrator Alan Tiegreen) has done a remarkable job of keeping her au currant. There are a few slips here -- girls who are almost 10 are more likely to be watching MTV than dressing up as princesses and witches -- but for the most part, this is just what readers have been waiting for: vintage Ramona." Booklist
"Despite a brief mention of nose piercing, Cleary's writing still reflects a secure middle-class family and untroubled school life, untouched by the classroom violence or the broken families of the 1990s. While her book doesn't match what's in the newspapers, it's a timeless, serene alternative for children, especially those with less than happy realities." Kirkus Reviews
The best year ever
That's what Ramona thought the fourth grade was going to be, but things aren't turning out as she hoped. Sure, she has a new best friend named Daisy. But how can she improve her spelling as her teacher insists, or be the role model for her baby sister, Roberta, that Mrs. Quimby expects? Fourth-grade life is full of adventure and challenges, and at the end of it all—a "zeroteenth" birthday to celebrate!
Ramona Quimby can't wait to start fourth grade. With a new baby sister to brag about, new calluses to show off, and a new best friend to get to know, everything's going to be great!
Or is it? When Ramona's spelling is atrocious, her teacher, Mrs. Meacham, is firm about her needing to improve. Then a scary incident at a friend's house leaves Ramona feeling at fault. Who knew growing up could be filled with such complicated situations?
Newbery Medal winning author Beverly Cleary's final book in the Ramona series has all of the warmth, realism, and humor of its predecessors.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
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.