Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Reading Program Event Reflection #1

I was the coordinator for the Teen Summer Reading Program at my small public library. Due to circumstances, I also ended up planning and presenting programs for 2 other age groups (preschool and school age [6-11]). The only way I could do this was to have the programs on the same day. Thus, I had preschool story time at 10:15am, Ages 6-11 Activity Time at 11:00am, and Teen Time at 1:00pm

This is the first of three planned reflections on my program experience. Today, we'll be talking about my preschool story times. The links are to the program plans on my wiki.

Story Time #1 (Fish)
These kids didn't know me, so they were a bit rowdy. I need to share more protocols next time (criss cross applesauce, bubble in mouth, etc.) I also didn't have any access to music. Some dancing would have been good to get their wiggles out. The game needs to be played either at the beginning or end. Playing it in the middle made it hard to get the kids settled down again. The craft was a success, not too messy and easy enough for the littlest kids. We did have some time issues. As the next program started at 11:00, I needed to be finished with the preschoolers at 10:45.

Story Time #2 (Boats)

The attendance was very low (1 child), but that's not unexpected in the summer when families go camping or on vacation. I had a song planned (a story time version of "If you're happy and you know it" that I picked up in grad school), but as there was just one child, I skipped it. I introduced a story time blanket and it seemed to help. She liked the craft, although she can't stand the smell of play dough. The toy boat craft was okay. I used it in another program and the kids had problems with their masts falling down.

Story Time #3 (Pirates)

We had some latecomers so I feel that I needed another book and perhaps a few more opening activities. We should have played a game, but I was using Pin the Parrot on the Pirate for the Pirate Party. Maybe pin the treasure on the map or pin the ship on the globe. The pirate vocabulary was a hit. The kids loved practicing their new words. If I present this story time again, I want to add some pirate jokes and rhymes to it. The craft was simple. Some of the older kids wanted to cut their clothes out, but the library doesn't have supplies for children's program yet.

Story Time #4 (Puppet Play)

The kids loved the puppet play! My teen volunteers loved it. They want to do more puppet plays. (We'll probably do one during out winter carnival.) My teens did a great job, but they needed a little more practice with projecting their voices and speaking clearly in a moderately paced voice. We needed a little music and either scene cards or scene pauses. We also need to work on our curtain. It kept falling down in the middle.

Raffling off the puppets was a great idea especially if you're not going to use them again. The kids loved taking one of the puppets home. Interestingly, the shark was the most popular. The kids really liked making their own fish puppets. I wish I had thought to have a few shark puppets as well. I really learned how necessary a tablecloth is when kids are coloring on a wooden table. Thank goodness for Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.

Story Time #5 (Ponds)

Despite low attendance (2 children), this story time went really well. The children liked using frog puppets to help me with the rhymes. They didn't really like the coloring sheet. If i repeat this program, I'll find a better craft. Learning about Tulip, our library dog who happens to be a Labrador retriever was great. We all learned a lot.

Happy 30th Birthday, Harry Potter!

J. K. Rowling's beloved character Harry Potter celebrates his 30th birthday today. This is seven years before we see Harry put his kids on the train for Hogwarts in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows.

I have enjoyed the Harry Potter books for a number of years. As the 1st part of the last film releases on November 19th, I thought it fitting that I re-read the books for the occasion.

Thus, I am pleased to announce my Harry Potter Reading Project. My goal is too read all seven of the Harry Potter Books plus Quidditch through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Things you can look forward to: memorable moments, favorite quotes and illustrations, the pets, the food, scenes I wish had made the movies, and much more.

Here's my tentative schedule for the project:

...the Sorcerer's Stone- August 3
...the Chamber of Secrets- August 17
...the Prisoner of Azkaban- August 31
...the Goblet of Fire- September 14
...the Order of the Phoenix- September 28
...the Half Blood Prince-October 12
...the Deathly Hallows- October 26
Quidditch Through the Ages- November 9
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them- November 23
The Tales of Beedle the Bard- December 7

I hope all my readers enjoy the Harry Potter Reading Project!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee

Rescued from the gallows, Mary Quinn is determined to make a better life for herself at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. By the time she's seventeen, Mary is educated and teaching but dissatisfied. Her teachers offer her a unique opportunity. The Academy is a cover for the Agency--a secret group of female investigators. Mary joins the Agency and collects information for them disguised as a lady's companion. Many secrets exist in the Thorold household. Some of which affect Mary and her past. Can Mary complete her first assignment for the Agency? Will she be a good agent?

What I thought: Brilliant book! I do love a Victorian setting. Mary Quinn is an intriguing character. Loved how her past was revealed bit by bit and left you guessing. The story progresses quickly and held my interest. Mary's uneasy alliance with James Easton was perfectly done. They don't quite trust each other, but circumstances force them yo rely on one another. Their verbal sparring reminded me a bit of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. A thoroughly enjoyable book. I do like a good mystery. I can't wait to read book 2, The Body at the Tower, set to release next month.

(The Agency Book 1. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, March 2010. ARC provided by Publisher.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy 144th Birthday, Beatrix Potter!

Beatrix Potter, author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and 22 other tales, celebrates her 144th birthday today.

In honor of her birthday, I am pleased to announce my Beatrix Potter Reading Project that will begin next week. I plan to read all 23 "little" tales. I liked the format my posts took for my Reading Ramona project so you can expect to see a summary, what I thought, favorite quotes and illustrations, activities and much more. I hope my ideas will lead to a plan for a Beatrix Potter program and perhaps a few story times.

The journey begins with Peter Rabbit on Thursday, August 5.

Cat Dreams by Ursula Le Guin

Cat takes a nap and has many fanciful feline dreams. A catnip tree. Dogs run away from her. Kibble and cream--mmm!

What I thought: Great! Text reads like poetry. It's like you're in the cat's head. Le Guin did a great job capturing the cat's personality. The illustrations are good. They suit the text perfectly.

Story Time Themes: Cats, Dreams

(Illus. S. D. Schindler. New York: Orchard, 2009)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Brownie & Pearl Step Out by Cynthia Rylant

Brownie and her cat Pearl are going to a birthday party. Brownie's not sure about going in, but Pearl is. They play games, eat cake and ice cream, and have a wonderful time.

What I thought: A great book. The text is perfect for preschoolers. The illustrations are great--so colorful. I predict this book will be popular with my Fancy Nancy/Princess fans.

Exciting news, readers! Brownie & Pearl is a series. The second book Brownie & Pearl Get Dolled Up was published in May

Story Time Themes: Cats, Pets, Birthday Parties, Friendship

(Illus. Brian Biggs. New York: Beach Lane, 2010)

Friday, July 23, 2010

One More Hug for Madison by Caroline Jayne Church

It's time for Madison Mouse to go to bed. She gets ready, her mom tucks her in, but she just can't sleep. After giving Madison her doll, a drink, another blanket, a hat, and numerous hugs, Mommy Mouse falls asleep before Madison.

What I thought: Cute book. It will be a hit with preschoolers. The book has simple text with some slight repetition. The illustrations are good--bold lines for the mice and muted colors.

Story Time Themes: Pajama story time, Bedtime

(New York: Orchard, 2009)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reading Ramona Project Wrap-Up

I can't believe my Reading Ramona Project is at an end, but I've finished all eight books.

What struck me most about re-reading the Ramona series as an adult is how timeless the books are. The first book, Beezus and Ramona, was first published in 1955. The last book, Ramona's World, was published in 1999. Over 44 years, Beverly Cleary shows Ramona grow and mature from Beezus's pesky little sister (age 4) to a girl who's winning at growing up (age 10 or "zeroteen").

The only thing that seemed to date the books a little were the original illustrations by Louis Darling and Alan Tiegreen. Tracy Dockray re-illustrated the Ramona books in 2006. I looked her new illustrations for Ramona the Brave, Ramona and her Mother, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Ramona Forever. I compared Dockray's illustrations to Tiegreen's in Ramona Forever.

I found that while the re-illustrated edition had about a third less illustrations, Dockray focused on included more in her illustrations. She included the whole Quimby family when she could often making use of two-page spreads. The reduction in total illustrations didn't really bother me. The illustrations that Dockray didn't use were smaller less consequential ones (e.g., the limo). Dockray used many of the same scenes that Tiegreen did, but as I already stated, she opened them up to included more people and more of the action in the scene.

Overall, I find that Dockray's new illustrations are more lively and enthusiastic. They really show Ramona's spunk. My favorite illustration in Ramona Forever is Ramona holding Roberta on page 191. My favorite illustration in Ramona the Brave is of Ramona lookign at the gorilla picture on page 25. In Ramona and her Mother, I like Ramona squirting the toothpaste on page 44. I have two favorite illustrations from Ramona Quimby, Age 8: Ramona and her father drawing feet on page 67 and Ramona in the car after dinner at Whooper Burger.

The story of how Ramona came into being is an interesting one. Cleary realized that all the characters in her book (one of the Henry Huggins series, I think) were all only children. She decided to give Beezus a little sister. A lady in the neighborhood called out "Ramona" as Cleary was creating the little sister. The rest, as they say, is history. Here's what Cleary had to sat about Ramona in her memoir My Own Two Feet: " I wrote in 'Ramona,' made several references to her, gave her one brief scene and thought that was the end of her. Little did I dream, to use an expression from nooks of my childhood, that she would take over books of her own, that she would grow and become a well-known and loved character" (254).

Readers, if you are all as sad as I am about the end of the Ramona series, take heart! Several good read-alikes exist. Top Ramona read-alike contenders are Lucy Rose, Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine. Here are a few lists where you can explore other series and titles.

Little Willow's Ramona Readalikes List
Shannon Kruer's Ivy and Bean Read-a-like Compilation (PUBYAC)
Joanna Leivent's Junie B Jones read-a-likes compilation (PUBYAC)
Sno-Isle Libraries Readalike: Ramona Quimby List
Joplin Public Library's Junie B. Jones Read-a-likes list

But what about those older readers who want a spunky girl as the heroine? My own suggestion would be Coleen Murtagh Paraore's Wedding Planner's Daughter Series. The fifth book, Wish I Might, was just released in May.

I apologize for this very long post, but I've so enjoyed my Reading Ramona project. The movie Ramona and Beezus premieres tomorrow in theaters.

Stay tuned for details about my two new reading projects next week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bunny Days by Tao Nyeu

The bunnies are perfectly happy until Mr. Goat's tractor splashes them with mud. Then they are accidentally sucked up into Mrs. Goat's vacuum cleaner. Finally, they get their tails clipped. Luckily, Bear is there to help and the bunnies are restored to their original, happy state.

What I thought: Loved it! the text is simple, but the story is engaging. The illustrations are great. I love the different color schemes in each of the stories ("Muddy Bunnies," "Dusty Bunnies," and "Bunny Tails"). Fans of Beatrix Potter will get their bunny fix with this book. In a few years younger fans will be picking up Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi and Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan.

Story Time Themes: Bunnies/Rabbits, Friendship

(New York: Dial, 2010)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Elizabeth's new job at the New York Circulating Material Repository isn't quite what she expected. Within days of starting, she discovers that fairy tales and magic are real. The Repository boasts an unusual collection--items from the Grimm Brothers' stories. That's right. The slippers that were danced to pieces. The spinning wheel that sent the beauty to sleep for one hundred years. The queen's mirror. Someone is stealing items from the Grimm Collection. With the help of her fellow pages, Aaron, Anjali, and Marc, Elizabeth sets out to to solve the mystery of the missing items so they can be restored.

What I thought: As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted to read it. Fairy tales are one of my favorite things. I love reading both the originals and retellings. Elizabeth's adventures at the Repository remind me a little of the movie The 10th Kingdom. To suddenly find out that fairy tales are real--how fun! I liked that the book wasn't only about Elizabeth. Her friends/co-workers are just as important. You always need sidekicks on a quest. I thought Jaya's character was particularly well done. She's the epitome of an annoying little sister without being stereotypical. I loved that Shulman chose to feature lesser known fairy tale items (Table Be Set, Seven League Boots, Golden Key). Her story makes me want to make good on my resolution to read all of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Maybe I'll find a story within a story like Polly Shulman did. Elizabeth seems to be living her own Cinderella story. Wicked stepmother--check. Housework--check. Unappreciated and unloved--check. A father who can't be bothered to notice a problem--check. I hope the pages' adventures at the Repository won't end here. I'm hopefully hoping for a sequel. Elizabeth's relationship with Aaron is interesting. She knows he likes Anjali. He thinks she likes Marc. In actuality, they like each other. Their friendship is uneasy. The start of dating is even more so. But what fun I had reading about it.

I highly recommend this book to fairy tale fans. If you like the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, you'll like this book.

(New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, July 2010. ARC provider by publisher.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eclipse the Movie--My Review

Okay, so I caved and went with my best friend to see Eclipse. I've been over the Twilight Saga for a while, but I still enjoy the movies. However, if Vicky hadn't insisted, I think I could have waited for the DVD release.

First off, less music (with words) than the first two movies. This absence gave Eclipse a quieter, more thoughtful atmosphere.

I also think this one has less screen presence. Not sure why. Maybe because we've already seen the special affects before. My breath doesn't catch when Edward sparkles or Jacob morphs. Speaking of our two leading men, they had less appeal in this movie for me. They both came across as silly, juvenile, and overbearing. If I was Bella, I'd throw them both over.

What's up with the new hair colors for Esme and Jasper? Seemed a little out of place.

Jasper can talk! Such a shocker. In Twilight he barely uttered "pleased to meet you." He talked a little more in New Moon, but not like this. And the Southern Texan drawl. I loved it, but it was a bit startling after his relative silence in the first two movies.

Overall, New Moon is still my favorite movie. I can't wait to see how they deal with all the drama in Breaking Dawn.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith

Little Mouse and his mama are going out to visit the barn. But first, Little Mouse has to get ready. He puts on his underpants, socks, pants, shoes, and shirt. But wait! Mice don't wear clothes. All that trouble for nothing.

What I thought: A cute book. Nice to see a graphic novel for the picture book crowd. The illustrations were great and the text simple. I predict Little Mouse will rise to fame and fortune with millions of preschool fans.

(New York: Toon, 2009)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reading Ramona Take 8

Book 8: Ramona's World
First published in 1999, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
192 pages, 11 chapters, (New York: Scholastic)

Fourth grade brings a lot of firsts into Ramona's life--her first best friend, her first crush. The trial of her nine almost ten year old life is spelling. As with all situations, Ramona perseveres with enthusiasm.

What I thought: A lovely end to the Ramona series. I really didn't want the series to end, but I'll talk more about that next week. Some much to like in this book: best friends, crushes, a baby sister, class pictures, and parties. I didn't have a true best friend experience until I was in middle school, so I envy Ramona's luck in finding Daisy Kidd so soon. Ramona's relationship with Danny (aka Yard Ape) is great. They are friends with the possibility of something more in later years.

I still can't believe that after reading all eight books in the series, I don't know when Ramona's birthday is. Why don't I know? Because Beverly Cleary didn't tell us. They start planning Ramona's party in late May or early June, so that's as close as I can some to the date of her birthday. I love the concept of "zeroteen." If I ever have a Ramona program at the library, I will definitely be calling it a "Zeroteen Party." I can empathize with Ramona's rotten school picture. I've had one of those myself in the sixth grade. Now, I look back on it and laugh.

Favorite Quotes:
"She closed the book. She liked her own writing better. That wasn't all she liked. She liked Mrs. Meacham, she liked Daisy, she liked Yard Ape, she liked fourth grade. It was going to be a great year" (22).

"Stuff was a perfectly good, handy, multipurpose word and easy to spell, too" (28).

"... their mother had read a book that said babies should be read to as soon as they were born so they would grow up to be good readers. Ramona wasn't quite sure how this would work, but she enjoyed the rhymes and read with expression and dramatic gestures" (62).

"She was thinking about Beezus growing up and about what it would be like to grow up herself. She felt like the way she felt when she was reading a good book. She wanted to know what would happen next" (69).

" 'If she can't spell, why is she a librarian? Librarians should know how to spell' " (109).

Favorite Illustration: Ramona and Roberta sticking their tongues out at each other (37)

Activities from Ramona's World:
Dress up
Hanging out with your best friend
Baby/cat sitting
Vacuuming the cat
Knitting/crocheting hats
Parties (valentine's Day, birthday "zeroteen")

Ramona and Beezus the movie premieres next Friday, July 23. I'm looking forward to it. Next week, I'll wrap up my Reading Ramona Project with a look back at my posts. We'll find out more about Ramona from the author herself (My Own Two Feet) and I'll share my thoughts on the new illustrations by Tracy Dockray.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

You've heard the story, seen the movie. Mild mannered Dr. Jekyll creates a potion and turns into his alter ego Mr. Hyde. Hyde does awful things. Things Dr. Jekyll can't remember. It's a struggle between good and evil.

Suppose it wasn't just a story. Suppose there really was a Dr. Jekyll and her really did create an evil alter ego. Fast forward one hundred plus years. Meet Jill Jekel, descended from the mild mannered Dr. Jekyll. Meet Tyler Hyde, descended from evil Mr. Hyde. Jill just wants to win the scholarship money. Tyler wants to kill the monster inside him. Can they succeed without hurting each other?

What I thought: I love books that play what if with classic literature. I've never actually read the original tale of Jekyll and Hyde, but this book makes me want to. I loved the alternate points-of-view. I don't think the story would have worked any other way. This book had many unexpected twists and turns. Most will read this book for what I did--to see the relationship between Jill and Tyler unfold. Tyler (with his beast/monster within) is the ultimate bad boy. What I liked most about this book is that it's different. It's not straight up paranormal romance. It's more modern realistic with a dash of sci-fi. Give this to your Twilight fans to expand their horizons.

(New York: Harcourt, May 2010. ARC provided by publisher.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau

Zeeta is fifteen years old and has lived in fifteen different countries. This year, she and her free spirit mother have settled in the Ecuadoran Andes. Zeeta has become a master at adapting to new places. She visits markets, meets the locals, and records it all in her notebook. This year it's indigo. A chance meeting with an American teen searching for his birth parents leads Zeeta on an adventure she never imagined.

What I thought: Wow! Zeeta is quite an unusual girl. I can only imagine the kind of life she's had, but Resau does a great job showing me. I like that our heroine is mixed race. Not something I've seen often. Wendell's search for his birth parents becomes Zeeta's search for identity. The best word I can think of to describe the book is exotic. It is that from the setting to the characters.

(New York: Delacorte, 2009)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

Viola is not happy to be attending boarding school in Indiana. The place is antiquated and she (with her bright yellow patent leather flats) doesn't quite fit in. But Indiana surprises her. She makes friends, finds a niche for her talent, and even acquires a boyfriend.

What I thought: The review I read of Viola in Reel Life was lukewarm, but I decided to give it a try as my aunt liked (i.e., raved about) Trigiani's adult books. So glad I read it. This book was great on so many levels. Viola has a unique voice. Her talent is interesting. The setting (boarding school) has been done before, but like those who came before Trigiani pulled it off. (I'm thinking Jellicoe Road, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.) Viola's struggle to acclimate herself to a new life is achingly realistic. I didn't want her story to end. Need I say more?

(New York: Harper Teen, 2009)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Benny & Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes

A new neighbor. A case of mistaken identity. Some mud. A new friend.

What I thought: Benny and Penny are such cute characters. They act exactly like brothers and sisters do. Loved the adventure they had in this book. Melinda (a mole?) is a great addition to the neighborhood. Not surprised that this won the Geisel Medal for 2010.

(New York: Toon Books, 2009)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gigged by Heath Gibson

J. T. Tillman knows life is hard. His dad didn't come back from Desert Storm. His mom died in a car accident and he blames himself for it. A series of abusive foster homes have taught J.T. a lesson. Once he was Jason, an average ordinary kid. But as such Jason was weak and got hurt. J.T.'s ROTC training has helped. He suppresses Jason and focuses on his goal--a scholarship to the Citadel. He will be a soldier and make his parents proud.

What I thought: I want to preface my review by saying this is not a book I would normally read. That being said, I'm glad I read it. J.T. is such a complex, confused mess of a character. I stuck with the book to see if he achieved his goal. The writing style in unlike anything I've ever seen. J.T.'s voice is unique--abrupt and clipped, very suited to his soldier mentality. It reminds me a little of the stream of consciousness style so prevalent in Virginia Woolf's work. I think the style along with the short chapters will appeal to reluctant readers. I hate to label books, but this is definitely a boy book. Heath Gibson understands his audience. However, as a female, I also enjoyed the book. My enjoyment stems primarily from J.T. inner psychological struggle. The ending was unexpected. I'm not sure if you can call it resolved. I won't say more than that because I don't want to give it away. I will say I'm just a little disturbed by the ending and its implications for the book as a whole. Now that I know the ending, I want to re-read the book with the ending in mind. J.T. is a compelling character. I was sorry to leave him. If I had to describe the book in one word, I would have to say intense.

To find out more about Gigged and Heath Gibson, visit Flux and the author's website. You might also check out this interview with Heath over at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf.

(Woodbury, MN: Flux, May 2010. Review copy provided by publisher.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

All Aboard to Work--Choo-Choo! by Carol Roth

This is a story of animal commuters. They take the train to work everyday.

What I thought: Great rhyming, repetition, and onomatopoeia. This would be a fun book to use for story time. It will definitely be a hit with my Thomas fans.

(Illus. Steve Lewis. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman, 2009.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

They're taking a break. That's all Penny's parents are saying. Her dad's still in the city and her mom's opened a cupcake bakery in her hometown. Penny misses city life and her friends. Adjusting to life in Hog Hollow isn't easy especially when the most popular girl in Penny's class hates her. Can Penny survive the break without breaking herself?

What I thought: A refreshing book. I liked everything about this book--the characters, the setting, the cupcakes. Hepler offers readers a believable story. Penny struggles--many readers will relate to her struggles. Penny's artistic nature appealed to me. I like the details of cupcake design Hepler included. Hepler reminds me of Joan Bauer. This is what we need more of--fresh realistic voices.

(New York, Dutton, 2009)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reading Ramona Take 7

Book 7: Ramona Forever
First published in 1984, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
182 pages, 10 chapters (New York: Avon Camelot)
Awards: Notable Children's Book

School takes a backseat to more interesting events in this installment of the Ramona series. Howie's Uncle Hobart returns to wreak havoc on Klickitat Street. He teases Ramona and generally makes a nuisance of himself. Mrs. Quimby is pregnant. Mr. Quimby has finished college but can't find a teaching position. Aunt Bea, wonderful Aunt Bea, is dating and GASP has agreed to marry Uncle Hobart. Can Ramona survive two new additions to the family?

What I thought: This book was a gem. Ramona deals well with all the changes in her life. There was a time when she wouldn't, but I'm proud top say that one of my favorite characters is growing up. This book has a lot of milestones in it. I can barely believe they would all fit in one book. A new baby, a wedding, staying home alone, and the death of a beloved family pet. In the midst of it all, Ramona remains the same--funny and endearing!

Favorite Quotes:
"sounds like a fairy tale and has camels" (3).
"Ramona had never seen such beautiful towels--big, thick, fluffy, and in soft, pretty colors. She stroked them, laid her cheek against them, traced her finder along the designs. They were truly towels to marry for" (128).
"She was winning at growing up" (182).

Activities from Ramona Forever:
Bicycle/unicycle riding
Something to do with Arabian Nights which is referenced a lot
Music making
Weddings (planning them, pretending to have one, etc.)
Names (Naming the newest Quimby...My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston is a picture book about the importance of names.)