“Ramona Quimby Age 8” by Beverly Cleary opens with Ramona starting a brand new school without her big sister Beezus. Ramona’s realization sets in that, for once, her teachers are not going to be able compare the two siblings, and since she will not be living in her sister’s shadow, she feels she may stand a chance of garnering a good reputation.
Of course, in true Ramona form, she manages to get into mischief without meaning to. There’s an incident where she gets sick in class, and another where she accidentally cracks a raw egg all over her head.
Convinced her teacher thinks she’s a nuisance, combined with changes at home and annoyances at the after-school baby-sitter, Ramona works out how to cope with all the ups and downs that being an 8-years-old brings.
How did Charlotte enjoy it?
Although Charlotte is a few years younger than Ramona is in this book, I feel the content of “Ramona Quimby Age 8” is still relevant and engaging to her. What I’ve always enjoyed about Beverly Cleary is that she doesn’t just tell a captivating story, she really dives deep into the thought process of the protagonist, as well. I think this shows young readers that they are not alone, which is why I put up with Ramona’s naughty shenanigans :).
Speaking of naughtiness, Charlotte and I play a little game when it comes to Ramona books. Whenever Ramona does something naughty, Charlotte does a “thumbs-down”. This is something my other daughter’s former Kindergarten teacher taught her class to do when they’d read the “Junie B. Jones” series so the children would acknowledge the naughty behavior and know it was not okay to repeat it. Charlotte is at an age where she LOVES tattling, so she’s “all about” giving Ramona a big, fat “Thumbs-down” whenever she deserves it.
It’s easy to point out Charlotte’s favorite part of the story: The part where Ramona gets sick in the classroom. Many giggles ensued and I had to read that chapter twice!
Charlotte gives “Ramona Quimby Age 8” two thumbs up! (Although, occasionally a thumb down for naughtiness 😉 )