Ramona Collection: Ramona and Her Father; Ramona and Her Mother; Ramona Forever; Ramona's World

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Overview

Life is full of ups and downs in this second collection of stories about Ramona Quimby. Ramona contends with petsy Willa Jean, deals with the horror of throwing up at school, welcomes a new addition to the Quimby family, and even makes her first best friend. Growing up isn't easy, but with Ramona it is always an adventure!

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Overview

Life is full of ups and downs in this second collection of stories about Ramona Quimby. Ramona contends with petsy Willa Jean, deals with the horror of throwing up at school, welcomes a new addition to the Quimby family, and even makes her first best friend. Growing up isn't easy, but with Ramona it is always an adventure!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064410069
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Ramona Series
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 2.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and until she was old enough to attend school she lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged to have books sent to their tiny town from the state library and acted as a librarian in a room over a bank. It was there that Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. Generations of children have grown up with Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph Mouse, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. Beverly Cleary continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of children of all ages throughout the world.

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

First Chapter

Ramona and Her Father

Chapter One

Payday

"Ye-e-ep!" sang Ramona Quimby one warm September afternoon, as she knelt on a chair at the kitchen table to make out her Christmas list. She had enjoyed a good day in second grade, and she looked forward to working on her list. For Ramona a Christmas list was a list of presents she hoped to receive, not presents she planned to give. "Ye-e-ep!" she sang again.

"Thank goodness today is payday," remarked Mrs. Quimby, as she opened the refrigerator to see what she could find for supper.

"Ye-e-ep!" sang Ramona, as she printed mice or ginny pig on her list with purple crayon. Next to Christmas and her birthday, her father's payday was her favorite day. His payday meant treats. Her mother's payday from her part-time job in a doctor's office meant they could make payments on the bedroom the Quimbys had added to their house when Ramona was in first grade.

"What's all this yeeping about?" asked Mrs. Quimby.

"I'm making a joyful noise until the Lord like they say in Sunday school," Ramona explained. "Only they don't tell us what the joyful noise sounds like so I made up my own." Hooray and wow, joyful noises to Ramona, had not sounded right, so she had settled on yeep because it sounded happy but not rowdy. "Isn't that all right?" she asked, as she began to add myna bird that talks to her list.

"Yeep is fine if that's the way you feel about it," reassured Mrs. Quimby.

Ramona printed coocoo clock on her list while she wondered what the treat would be this payday. Maybe, since this was Friday, they could all go to a movie if her parents could find onesuitable. Both Ramona and her big sister, Beezus, christened Beatrice, wondered what went on in all those other movies. They planned to find out the minute they were grown-up. That was one thing they agreed on. Or maybe their father would bring presents, a package of colored paper for Ramona, a paperback book for Beezus.

"I wish I could think of something interesting to do with leftover pot roast and creamed cauliflower," remarked Mrs. Quimby.

Leftovers--yuck!, thought Ramona. "Maybe Daddy will take us to the Whopperburger for supper for payday," she said. A soft, juicy hamburger spiced with relish, French fries crisp on the outside and mealy inside, a little paper cup of cole slaw at the Whopperburger Restaurant were Ramona's favorite payday treat. Eating close together in a booth made Ramona feel snug and cozy. She and Beezus never quarreled at the Whopperburger.

"Good idea." Mrs. Quimby closed the refrigerator door. "I'll see what I can do."

Then Beezus came into the kitchen through the back door, dropped her books on the table, and flopped down on a chair with a gusty sigh.

"What was that all about?" asked Mrs. Quimby, not at all worried.

"Nobody is any fun anymore," complained Beezus. "Henry spends all his time running around the track over at the high school getting ready for the Olympics in eight or twelve years, or he and Robert study a book of world records trying to find a record to break, and Mary Jane practices the piano all the time." Beezus sighed again. "And Mrs. Mester says we are going to do lots of creative writing, and I hate creative writing. I don't see why I had to get Mrs. Mester for seventh grade anyway."

"Creative writing can't be as bad as all that," said Mrs. Quimby.

"You just, don't understand," complained Beezus. "I can never think of stories, and my poems are stuff like, 'See the bird in the tree. He is singing to me.'"

"Tee-hee, tee-hee," added Ramona without thinking.

"Ramona," said Mrs. Quimby, "that was not necessary."

Because Beezus had been so grouchy lately, Ramona could manage to be only medium sorry.

"Pest!" said Beezus. Noticing Ramona's work, she added , "Making out a Christmas list in September is silly."

Ramona calmly selected an orange crayon. She was used to being called a pest. "If I am a pest, you are a rotten dinosaur egg," she informed her sister.

"Mother, make her stop," said Beezus.

When Beezus said this, Ramona knew she had won. The time had come to change the subject. "Today's payday," she told her sister. "Maybe we'll get to go to the Whopperburger for supper."

The Ramona Collection, Volume 2. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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