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.
"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:
Hanging out with your best friend
Vacuuming the cat
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.