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Ramona and Her Mother

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Overview

Ramona just wants everyone to be happy. If only her father would smile and joke again, her mother would look less worried, her sister would be cheerful, and Picky-picky would eat his cat-food. But Ramona's father has lost his job, and nobody in the Quimby household is in a very good mood.

Ramona tries to cheer up the family as only Ramona can - by rehearsing for life as a rich and famous star of television commercials, for instance - but her best efforts only make things worse....

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Overview

Ramona just wants everyone to be happy. If only her father would smile and joke again, her mother would look less worried, her sister would be cheerful, and Picky-picky would eat his cat-food. But Ramona's father has lost his job, and nobody in the Quimby household is in a very good mood.

Ramona tries to cheer up the family as only Ramona can - by rehearsing for life as a rich and famous star of television commercials, for instance - but her best efforts only make things worse. Her sister, Beezus, calls her a, pest, her parents lose patience with her, and her teacher claims she's forgotten her- manners. But when her father admits he wouldn't trade her for a million dollars, Ramona knows everything is going to work out fine in the end.

The family routine is upset during Ramona's year in second grade when her father unexpectedly loses his job.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
Poor Ramona! Not quite eight, but half past seven, this enthusiastic dynamo is feeling one powerful emotion: unloved. Her older sister, Beezus, seems to do everything right--at least as far as Ramona's mom is concerned. So Ramona gloats just a bit when Beezus causes a stink about not being allowed to visit a professional hair stylist, instead of having her hair cut at home. When Ramona's mom goes back to work, and her dad hates his new job, other frictions visit on the Quimby household, making both girls worry that their parents are headed for divorce. Cleary keeps this book hopping, jumping easily from scenario to scenario. Its success, as in Cleary's other Ramona books, is in pulling our heartstrings and making us laugh. Readers will hoot as Ramona squirts every last drop from a new toothpaste tube--just because she always wanted to. We also see her nearly barf in the backseat of the car, and dye herself and her friend Howie bright blue. But it is when Ramona threatens to run away and her mother helps her pack, that we root hard for little "Nobody likes me!" Ramona. Of course, Mrs. Quimby has a trick up her sleeve: "You tricked me!" cries Ramona. "You made the suitcase too heavy on purpose. You don't want me to run away!" Of course not, says her mother: "I couldn't get along without my Ramona." Neither, I suspect can readers.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Ramona, in her own inimitable and highly entertaining way, tries to understand the world around her and overcome the difficult situations in her life. When she mistakenly arrives at the conclusion that nobody loves her, she thinks about leaving home. She's even more surprised when her mother helps her pack her clothes. In any language, children will relate to this winning heroine. The beautifully written prose translates smoothly into Spanish, and the black-and-white line drawings are the same as in the English edition.-Alexandra Gomez, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807273197
  • Publisher: Listening Library, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1989
  • Series: Ramona Series
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. 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. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.

Jaqueline Rogers has been a professional children's book illustrator for more than twenty years and has worked on nearly one hundred children's books.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Present for Willa Jean

"When will they be here?" asked Ramona Quimby, who was supposed to be dusting the living room but instead was twirling around trying to make herself dizzy. She was much too excited to dust.

"In half an hour," cried her mother from the kitchen, where she and Ramona's big sister Beatrice were opening and closing the refrigerator and oven doors, bumping into one another, forgetting where they had laid the pot holders, finding them and losing the measuring spoons.

The Quimbys were about to entertain their neighbors at a New Year's Day brunch to celebrate Mr. Quimby's finding a job at the ShopRite Market after being out of work for several months. Ramona liked the word brunch, half breakfast and half lunch, and secretly felt the family had cheated because they had eaten their real breakfast earlier. They needed their strength to get ready for the party.

"And Ramona," said Mrs. Quimby as she hastily laid out silverware on the dining-room table, "be nice to Willa jean, will you? Try to keep her out of everyone's hair."

"Ramona, watch what you're doing!" said Mr. Quimby, who was laying a fire in the fireplace. "You almost knocked over the lamp."

Ramona stopped twirling, staggered from dizziness, and made a face. Willa Jean, the messy little sister of her friend Howie Kemp was sticky, crumby, into everything, and always had to have her own way.

"And behave yourself," said Mr. Quimby. "Willa Jean is company."

Not my company, thought Ramona, who saw quite enough of Willa Jean when she played at Howie's house. "If Howie can't come to the brunch because he has a cold,why can't Willa Jean stay home with their grandmother, too?" Ramona asked.

"I really don't know," said Ramona's mother. "That isn't the way things worked out. When the Kemps asked if they could bring Willa Jean, I could hardly say no."

I could, thought Ramona, deciding that since Willa Jean, welcome or not, was coming to the brunch, she had better prepare to defend her possessions. She went to her room, where she swept her best crayons and drawing paper into a drawer and covered them with her pajamas. Her Christmas roller skates and favorite toys, battered stuffed animals that she rarely played with but still loved, went into the corner of her closet. There she hid them under her bathrobe and shut the door tight.

But what could she find to amuse Willa Jean? If Willa Jean did not have something to play with, she would run tattling to the grown-ups. "Ramona hid her toys!" Ramona laid a stuffed snake on her bed, then doubted if even Willa Jean could love a stuffed snake.

What Ramona needed was a present for Willa Jean, a present wrapped and tied with a good hard knot, a present that would take a long time to unwrap. Next to receiving presents, Ramona liked to give presents, and if she gave Willa Jean a present today, she would not only have the fun of giving, but of knowing the grown-ups would think, Isn't Ramona kind, isn't she generous to give Willa Jean a present? And so soon after Christmas, too. They would look at Ramona in her new red-and-green-plaid slacks and red turtleneck sweater and say, Ramona is one of Santa's helpers, a regular little Christmas elf.

Ramona smiled at herself in the mirror and was pleased. Two of her most important teeth were only halfway in, which made her look like a jack-o-lantern, but she did not mind. If she had grown-up teeth, the rest of her face would catch up someday.

Over her shoulder she saw reflected in the mirror a half-empty box of Kleenex on the floor beside her bed. Kleenex! That was the answer to a present for Willa Jean. She ran into the kitchen, where Beezus was beating muffin batter while her father fried sausages and her mother struggled to unmold a large gelatine salad onto a plate covered with lettuce.

"A present is a good idea," agreed Mrs. Quimby when Ramona asked permission, "but a box of Kleenex doesn't seem like much of a present." She shook the mold. The salad refused to slide out. Her face was flushed and she glanced at the clock on the stove.

Ramona was insistent. "Willa Jean would like it. I know she would." There was no time for explaining what Willa Jean was to do with the Kleenex.

Mrs. Quimby was having her problems with the stubborn salad. "All right," she consented. "There's an extra box in the bathroom cupboard." The salad slid slowly from the mold and rested, green and shimmering, on the lettuce.

By the time Ramona had wrapped a large box of Kleenex in leftover Christmas paper, the guests had begun to arrive. First came the Huggins and McCarthys and little Mrs. Swink in a bright-green pants suit. Umbrellas were leaned outside the front door, coats taken into the bedroom, and the usual grown-up remarks exchanged. "Happy New Year!" "Good to see you!" "We thought we would have to swim over, it's raining so hard." "Do you think this rain will ever stop?" "Who says it's raining? "This is good old Oregon sunshine!" Ramona felt she had heard that joke one million times, and she was only in the second grade.

Ramona and Her Mother. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

About The Book:

How come nobody ever calls me my mother's girl? thinks Ramona. How come Willa Jean gets to tear through a box of tissues, make a dreadful mess, disrupt Mrs. Quimby's brunch, and still be the center of attention--and her grandmother's pet?

When Ramona finally has her mother to herself, her plan to make slacks for her stuffed elephant goes wrong, and Ramona is not pleased. When Ramona satisfies a lifelong urge to squeeze all the toothpaste out of a new economy-size tube, Mother is not pleased. All Ramona really wants is to twitch her nose and be her mother's little rabbit, warm and snug and loved like the bears and bunnies in the books her mother used to read to her at bedtime. Ramona may not be as small as Willa Jean anymore, but that doesn't mean she isn't her mother's girl.

Questions For Discussion:

  1. The Quimbys have a brunch to celebrate Mr. Quimby's new job and Howie's little sister Willa Jean is among the guests. Why does Ramona decide to give her a present? What do you think of Ramona's choice of a present? What do you think of Willa Jean's behavior? Why do some of the guests say that she reminds them of Ramona at that age? When another guest says Beezus is her mother's daughter how does that make Ramona feel?
  2. How does life in the Quimby household change after Mr. Quimby goes to work at the Shop-Rite? Does Mr. Quimby like his new job?
  3. When Ramona tries to join Mrs. Quimby and Beezus at sewing, the pants she tries to make her stuffed elephant are a big disappointment to her. What activity does Ramona come up with to console herself--something she's always wanted to do? Why does she tell hermother, "The devil made me do it," and what is Mrs. Quimby's reaction?
  4. In the chapter called "The Great Hair Argument," why does Beezus call her mother old-fashioned when Mrs. Quimby says that how you look is not as important as how you behave?
  5. Beezus says that she is tired of being good old sensible Beezus and her mother answers that she, too, is tired of being sensible all the time. Why is this surprising? How does this information make Ramona feel towards her mother?
  6. Spelling is her weak point in school, but Mrs. Rudge says there's no such word as can't. Why is this confusing to Ramona? What does Mrs. Rudge mean?
  7. Ramona certainly has a lively imagination! How is it that wanting her mother to love her like a little rabbit leads to Ramona wearing her new pajamas to school and pretending to be a fireman? She has also been twitching her nose lately. How is this behavior misinterpreted by her teacher and her parents?
  8. What is her parents' reaction when Ramona announces that she is going to run away? Why do you think they react this way? What does Ramona come to understand from this experience? What are the words Ramona has been longing to hear her mother say?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 101 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2005

    Simple, Moving, Great

    This book, like any Ramona Quimby book, is funny, touching, and heartfelt. Cleary is a great author who writes for children in an honest, humorous way. I've loved these books for years, and as an adult, they are still good.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    so sweet!

    love all the ramona books but this is especially sweet! love it, read it! : D

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2000

    A fun and happy story for people of all ages!!

    This story has a very good storyline. I think that this is one of the best books ever written, because it always puts me in a good mood when I read about Ramona. I have been reading all Ramona books since I was very young and I have always and will always love them.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    Ximena

    it was the best book ever!!!!!!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    love the book

    ramona. and her mother is my fave book in the whole series.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    Great for girls NAMED Ramona

    I am a 10 year old and my name is Ramona . I thought I had one of the most unusual names until I found this series now I own every book from Beezus and Ramona, to Ramona's World

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    i lovw this book

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Hey

    I love dis book

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2011

    A good book.

    Ramona and Beatrice is a good book. But ramona and her mother is my FAVORITE!!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    Madison

    it was a really sweet book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Nggnbb

    "Cant get along without my Beezus," was a quote from Mrs.Quimby one day when they were having brunch. It kinda set off a bomb. Cause' Ramona felt jelouse. One of my favorite parts in this book was the GREAT HAIR ARGUMENT. I also liked when they forgot to turn on the crock-pot and Mr. and Mrs. Quimby get into an argument.


    Ramona and her mother is a heart warming story about a girl and her mom. At the end Ramona fells like her teacher betrayed her because she left her pajamas at school and she thought the teacher told her mom so Ramona tries to run away.

    In the movie I think seleana gomez totaly pulled it off. That is my opinion

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Ra. Ramona and her Mother

    I thought this was a really great book. It teaches kids that even though it may seem like no one likes you, they really do care.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Cute!

    Ramona should be more carful

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Ramona and her mother

    This book is so awsome , and ramona is adorable cute
    And witty! _Faith egan

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Howlivi

    Good book i am rating this because it is a good book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    J

    K

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Favorite

    My favorite Ramona book!!!!
    3rd grader

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Bad book

    Poop bad book never

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Free pink ipod

    Kiss the back of you hand three times repost this on three other books and look under you pillow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Free pink ipod

    Kiss your hand three times repost this on three diffrent books and look under your pillow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 101 Customer Reviews

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