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The further adventures of the Quimby family as Ramona enters the third grade.
The First Day of School
Ramona Quimby hoped her parents would forget to give her a little talking-to. She did not want anything to spoil this exciting day.
"Ha-ha, I get to ride the bus to school all by myself," Ramona bragged to her big sister, Beatrice, at breakfast. Her stomach felt quivery with excitement at the day ahead, a day that would begin with a bus ride just the right length to make her feel a long way from home but not long enough—she hoped—to make her feel carsick. Ramona was going to ride the bus, because changes had been made in the schools in the Quimbys' part of the city during the summer. Glenwood, the girls' old school, had become an intermediate school, which meant Ramona had to go to Cedarhurst Primary School.
"Ha-ha yourself." Beezus was too excited to be annoyed with her little sister. "Today I start high school."
"Junior high school," corrected Ramona, who was not going to let her sister get away with acting older than she really was. "Rosemont junior High School is not the same as high school, and besides you have to walk."
Ramona had reached the age of demanding accuracy from everyone, even herself. All summer, whenever a grown-up asked what grade she was in, she felt as if she were fibbing when she answered, "third," because she bad not actually started the third grade. Still, she could not say she was in the second grade since she had finished that grade last June. Grown-ups did not understand that summers were free from grades.
"Ha-ha to both of you," said Mr. Quimby, as he carried his breakfast dishes into the kitchen. "You're not the only ones going toschool today." Yesterday had been his last day working at the check-out counter of the Shop-Rite Market. Today he was returning to college to become what he called "a real, live school teacher." He was also going to work one day a week in the frozen-food warehouse of the chain of Shop-Rite Markets to help the family "squeak by,"as the grown-ups put it, until he finished his schooling.
"Ha-ha to all of you if you don't hurry up," said Mrs. Quimby, as she swished suds in the dishpan. She stood back from the sink so she would not spatter the white uniform she wore in the doctor's office where she worked as a receptionist.
"Daddy, will you have to do homework?" Ramona wiped off her milk moustache and gathered up her dishes.
"That's right." Mr. Quimby flicked a dish towel at Ramona as she passed him. She giggled and dodged, happy because he was happy.
Never again would he stand all day at a cash register, ringing up groceries for a long line of people who were always in a hurry.
Ramona slid her plate into the dishwater. "And will Mother have to sign your progress reports?"
Mrs. Quimby laughed. "I hope so."
Beezuswas last to bring her dishes into the kitchen. "Daddy, what do you have to study to learn to be a teacher?" she asked.
Ramona had been wondering the same thing. Her father knew how to read and do arithmetic. He also knew about Oregon pioneers and about two pints making one quart.
Mr. Quimby wiped a plate and stacked it in the cupboard. "I'm taking an art course, because I want to teach art. And I'll study child development.
Ramona interrupted. "What's child development?"
"How kids grow," answered her father.
Why does anyone have to go to school to study a thing like that? wondered Ramona. All her life she had been told that the way to grow was to eat good food, usually food she did not like, and get plenty of sleep, usually when she had more interesting things to do than go to bed.
Mrs. Quimby hung up the dishcloth, scooped up Picky-picky, the Quimbys' old yellow cat, and dropped him at the top of the basement steps. "Scat, all of you," she said, "or you'll be late for school."
After the family's rush to brush teeth, Mr. Quimby said to his daughters, "Hold out your hands," and into each waiting pair he dropped a new pink eraser. "Just for luck," he said, "not because I expect you to make mistakes."
"Thank you,"said the girls. Even a small present was appreciated, because presents of any kind had been scarce while the family tried to save money so Mr. Quimby could return to school. Ramona, who liked to draw as much as her father, especially treasured the new eraser, smooth, pearly pink, smelling softly of rubber, and just right for erasing pencil lines.
Mrs. Quimby handed each member of her family a lunch, two in paper bags and one in a lunch box for Ramona. "Now, Ramona—" she began.
Ramona sighed. Here it was, that little talking-to she always dreaded.
"Please remember , said her mother, "you really must be nice to Willa Jean."
Ramona made a face. I try, but it's awfully hard."
Being nice to Willa Jean was the part of Ramona's life that was not changing, the part she wished would change. Every day after school she had to go to her friend Howie Kemp's house, where her parents paid Howie's grandmother to look after her until one of them could come for her. Both of Howie's parents, too, went off to work each day.
Ramona likes being big enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? If Mrs. Kemp didn't look after Ramona, her mother couldn't work full-time. If Ramona's mother didn't work, her father couldn't return to college. Ramona does get to ride the school bus by herself this year. And despite teasing from Danny the Yard Ape, she's determined to enjoy the third grade; her new teacher, Mrs. Whaley; and learning to read and write. If only Mother would not remind Ramona each morning to be nice to Willa Jean Kemp. If only her parents wouldn't quarrel at home. If only Ramona didn't get sick one horrible day and throw up—at school. But being a patient has its advantages. Even book reports and rainy Sundays have a bright side. In Ramona's world, being eight isn't easy, but it's never dull.
Posted October 11, 2009
I Also Recommend:
I loved Beverly Cleary books when I was younger. I remember this one in particular. Ramona and smashing the egg in her hair because she thought it was hard-boiled..only it wasn't, the Yard-Ape, the umm dinner that could taste you back. I remember it being a reassurance to read about Ramona's life and to know that all of that stuff was normal. Families fought, parent's were annoying, school was tough, but in the end, everything was okay.
I loved sharing it with my daughters this time around. My oldest is eight, which makes her a "young adult" according to her. She could totally relate with Ramona. I think the mind of an eight-year-old was clearly captured by Cleary. Ramona is a bit more trouble that my daughter, but I'm pretty sure she feels the same way, she just doesn't act on it!
This is my first post relating to my 'official' Newbery Challenge I am hosting. Please feel free to join in! See my blog below to enter.
Please come and visit me at my blog, Between the Lines, at www.jennifermorrill.wordpress.com. I'd love to hear from you!
30 out of 40 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2011
I was 8 once and I can relate to a lot of things in this book. I was a pest to my older siblings like ramona and beezus. Ramona takes on the 3rd grade and family. The book has a good ending. I would recomend this book!
19 out of 24 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2012
I have read this book A LOT of times and every time i love it even more than i did the last time! I LOVE beverly clearly! She is a GREAT author!
13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2008
I thought that this book was just amazing. One of my favorite parts was when Ramona was sick in bed and she acually ended up doing the report. When I read about her friends being cats and about her report, it just made me laugh. If you make any more just like this book, I would just love to read it. Don't stop and keep up the good work.
12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2011
Posted February 11, 2012
Posted December 27, 2011
These books are great! I love reading them because they are so short. Short chapter books are great for ages 8 because they are just starting to read chapter books and they should start with a short, simple, easy read. All of the Ramona books are great, and the movies. I like the books better because they have more detail, but thats my opinion. I love these books and I know you will love them too. So go to the Nook Book Store and buy yourself a Ramona book and it doesnt matter which one their all good books!
10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2007
I think that Ramona Quimby was the book character that I related to the most while growing up. We faced the same 'major problems' and I was able to read the funny things ahe did and said to fix her problems so that i could try to fix mine in the same way. Beverly Cleary does a wonderful job at showing her understanding of an eight year old and Ramona is the rounded character that anyone can relate to. Cleary, Beverly. Ramona Quimby, Age 8. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1981.
10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2012
Posted February 14, 2012
Posted June 15, 2012
Posted June 1, 2012
I read this book as a young adult and remember falling in love with it and wishing it didn't end. I am hope my daughter will enjoy it just as much this summer!
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2012
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Posted June 3, 2012
This is a very heart warming family story that would most likely attract ages 6-12. Beverly cleary has once again proved herself a guenis. I compleately and very strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure. Have fun reading and stay in school kids. ;)
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2012
I have read this book 3 times and I love it! I think it is funny and a good book. I have read 3 Ramona books and loved them. A good book for kids who are 8!
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.