Book 6: Ramona Quimby, Age 8
First published in 1981, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
190 pages, 9 chapters (New York: Scholastic)
Awards: Newbery Honor Book, Notable Children's Book
Dependable describes Ramona as she enters third grade. Her family depends on her to behave herself when she stays with Howie's grandmother (i.e., be nice to Willa Jean) so her mother can work so her father can go back to college. Ramona doesn't really like being dependable. It's doesn't get her much except constant reminders abut Willa Jean and hard boiled eggs that aren't.
I love Ramona's interaction with Danny, AKA "Yard Ape." They have a great relationship/rivalry. They're friends without seeming to be so. This book brings us the beginning of SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). I find it interesting that Ramona prefers to call it SSR because she thinks it sound more important. I love Ramona's inventive idea for her book report. Well, Mrs. Whaley did tell her to sell the book.
Favorite Quote: "Ramona blissfully read herself off into the land of princesses, kings, and clever youngest sons, satisfied that the Quimbys had a clever younger daughter who was doing her part" (54)
Activities from Ramona Quimby, Age 8:
Cooking for the family (My best friend and I held yearly dinner parties for ourselves. We picked out the menu, prepared everything, and enjoyed! Cooking can be quite fun.)
SSR/DEAR [If you don't already practice SSR/DEAR at school or home, I encourage you to start. The no strings attached reading (no book reports!) might just motivate those reluctant readers. You might even institute a family DEAR--where the whole family listens to a story/book read aloud. DEAR is official--April 12th is National Drop Everything And Read Day (and Beverly Cleary's birthday).]
Up next book 7: Ramona's Forever.
Only 5 more weeks until the theater release of Ramona and Beezus. Are you getting just a little excited?