Ramona the Pest

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Overview

Ramona is off to kindergarten, and it's the greatest day of her life. So why is she sitting on the bench while the rest of the students play the game gray duck? Laughs and minor upsets abound in an enormously popular story starring the one and only Ramona Quimby!

Ramona meets lots of interesting people in kindergarten class, like Davy whom she keeps trying to kiss and Susan whose springy curls seem to ask to be pulled.

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Ramona the Pest

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Overview

Ramona is off to kindergarten, and it's the greatest day of her life. So why is she sitting on the bench while the rest of the students play the game gray duck? Laughs and minor upsets abound in an enormously popular story starring the one and only Ramona Quimby!

Ramona meets lots of interesting people in kindergarten class, like Davy whom she keeps trying to kiss and Susan whose springy curls seem to ask to be pulled.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joan Elste
Poor Miss Binny has her hands full with a class of curious kindergarten children starting their first day of school in Beverly Cleary's reillustrated, Harper Trophy edition chapter book. Ramona cannot control her emotions for what she feels is the most exciting day of her life. She would finally catch up with her sister Beezus on learning everything there is to know. When Miss Binny leads her to one of the classroom tables and tells her to, "sit here for the present" the fun begins. Ramona mistakenly believes she has been singled out to receive a present from her teacher. When she refuses to leave her seat in class for anything because she is expecting the present at any moment, Miss Binny has to explain the situation to her. And this is only the beginning, as Ramona weaves her way into the reader's heart. One of the problems I had with this story was that since it was first published, the times have changed drastically. Ramona and her friend Howie are encouraged to walk to school unsupervised, which also includes crossing a street by themselves. As popular and charming as the Ramona books are, this was a bother to me.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440772095
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/18/1923
  • Series: Ramona Series
  • 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

Ramona's Great Day

"I am not a pest," Ramona Quimby told her big sister Beezus.

"Then stop acting like a pest," said Beezus, whose real name was Beatrice. She was standing by the front window waiting for her friend Mary Jane to walk to school with her.

"I'm not acting like a pest. I'm singing and skipping," said Ramona, who had only recently learned to skip with both feet. Ramona did not think she was a pest. No matter what others said, she never thought she was a pest. The people who called her a pest were always bigger and so they could be unfair.

Ramona went on with her singing and skipping. "This is a great day, a great day, a great day!" she sang, and to Ramona, who was feeling grown-up in a dress instead of play clothes, this was a great day, the greatest day of her whole life. No longer would she have to sit on her tricycle watching Beezus and Henry Huggins and the rest of the boys and girls in the neighborhood go off to school. Today she was going to school, too. Today she was going to learn to read and write and do all the things that would help her catch up with Beezus.

"Come on, Mama!" urged Ramona, pausing in her singing and skipping. "We don't want to be late for school."

"Don't pester, Ramona,"' said Mrs. Quimby. "I'll get you there in plenty of time."

"I'm not pestering," protested Ramona, who never meant to pester. She was not a slow poke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.

Then Mary Jane arrived. "Mrs. Quimby, would it be all right if Beezus and I take Ramona to kindergarten?" she asked.

"No!" said Ramona instantly. Mary Jane was one of those girls who always wanted to pretend she was a mother and who always wanted Ramona to be the baby. Nobody was going to catch Ramona being a baby on her first day of school.

"Why not?" Mrs. Quimby asked Ramona. "You could walk to school with Beezus and Mary Jane just like a big girl."

"No, I couldn't." Ramona was not fooled for an instant. Mary Jane would talk in that silly voice she used when she was being a mother and take her by the hand and help her across the street, and everyone would think she really was a baby.

"Please, Ramona," coaxed Beezus. "It would be lots of fun to take you in and introduce you to the kindergarten teacher."

"No!" said Ramona, and stamped her foot. Beezus and Mary Jane might have fun, but she wouldn't. Nobody but a genuine grownup was going to take her to school. If she had to, she would make a great big noisy fuss, and when Ramona made a great big noisy fuss, she usually got her own way. Great big noisy fusses were often necessary when a girl was the youngest member of the family and the youngest person on her block.

"All right, Ramona," said Mrs. Quimby.

"Don't make a great big noisy fuss.If that's the way you feel about it, you don't have to walk with the girls. I'll take you.

"Hurry, Mama," said Ramona happily, as she watched Beezus and Mary Jane go out the door.But when Ramona finally got her mother out of the house, she was disappointed to see one of her mother's friends, Mrs. Kemp, approaching with her son Howie and his little sister Willa Jean, who was riding in a stroller. "Hurry, Mama," urged Ramona, not wanting to wait for the Kemps. Because their mothers were friends, she and Howie were expected to get along with one another.

"Hi, there!" Mrs. Kemp called out, so of course Ramona's mother had to wait.

Howie stared at Ramona. He did not like having to get along with her any more than she liked having to get along with him.

Ramona stared back. Howie was a solid-looking boy with curly blond hair. ("Such a waste on a boy," his mother often remarked.)The legs of his new jeans were turned up, and he was wearing a new shirt with long sleeves.

He did not look the least bit excited about starting kindergarten. That was the trouble with Howie, Ramona felt. He never got excited. Straight-haired Willa Jean, who was interesting to Ramona because she was so sloppy, blew out a mouthful of wet zwieback crumbs and laughed at her cleverness.

"Today my baby leaves me," remarked Mrs. Quimby with a smile, as the little group proceeded down Klickitat Street toward Glenwood School.

Ramona, who enjoyed being her mother's baby, did not enjoy being called her mother's baby, especially in front of Howie.

"They grow up quickly," observed Mrs. Kemp.

Ramona could not understand why grownups always talked about how quickly children grew up. Ramona thought growing up was the slowest thing there was, slower even than waiting for Christmas to come. She had been waiting years just to get to kindergarten, and the last half hour was the slowest part of all.

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Reading Group Guide

About The Book:

It is the greatest day of Ramona's life. She is in kindergarten and she loves her teacher, Miss Binney. She likes a little boy named Davy so much she wants to kiss him. She's fascinated by Susan's beautiful reddish brown curls, which bounce like springs when she runs. Ramona is thrilled about all the new things to see.

So how in the world does Ramona get into trouble? Why is she sitting on a bench when the rest of the class is playing Gray Duck? Why does Davy run as fast as he can when Ramona comes near him? And how does Ramona disrupt the whole class during rest time? Well, anyone who knows Ramona knows that she is never a pest on purpose.

Discussion Questions:

  1. There are often misunderstandings between Ramona and the rest of the world. Sometimes the misunderstandings have to do with words or expressions that adults use; sometimes other people, including other kids, just don't see things the same way Ramona does. What examples of this do you remember from the book? Can you understand Ramona's point of view?
  2. Are Ramona and Howie friends? Ramona and Davy? Ramona and Susan? Why or why not?
  3. Ramona didn't like her first day of kindergarten as much as she had thought she would. Do you remember your first day of school? Was it better or worse than you had imagined it would be?
  4. Ramona had learned in nursery school that sharing meant that "she had to share something of her own that she did not want to share or she had to share something that belonged to someone else that she did not want to share either." When the mothers decide that Ramona and Howie should share the red ribbon the teacher putson Howie's stuffed rabbit, is this a good solution? How do Ramona and Howie resolve the conflict themselves and come to like each other better in the process?
  5. Why does Ramona wear her worm "engagement ring" on the days her mother makes her wear Howie's old rainboots? Has your mother ever made you wear something you didn't want to wear to school? What was your reaction—A Great Big Noisy Fuss?
  6. Does Ramona remind you of someone you know? Is Ramona a pest? Why or why not?
  7. Why does Ramona start to feel a little strange while wearing her Halloween costume? How does she finally solve the problem?
  8. While she loves her teacher, Miss Binney, Ramona briefly becomes a kindergarten dropout. Do you remember why? How does she like staying home from school every day?
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 165 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(111)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 166 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Refreshing to 'see' Ramona after 20+ years

    I could often be found with a 'Ramona' book as a young child. Having a young daughter of my own now, I am anxious to share all of Ramona's adventures with her. I highly recommend this series to both the young and old alike!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Ramona the pest

    Great book i recomend it to everyone if you like funny books

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Still good!

    I remember reading these Ramona as a young child and when I came across them on my nook, I decided to reread them. I loved them a second time! These are great books, for all ages! Worth the money! (:

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    RAMONA THE PEST

    It is an awesome book . You sould buy it because, it is so interesting. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down! When Ramona gets in truble everyone calls her a pest! Thats not even the best part. In the book Ramona also starts kindergarten. Ramona loves her new kindergarten teacher Miss Binney. She always wanted to go to kindergarten because she sawl her older sister go and thot it would be fun.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is one of my favorites!! Wish every child would read this. It's a fun and brought back many memories of my own kindergarten days :' Oh Ramona.... your stories all hold a very special place in my heart. A must read!!! Enjoy with your child, nieces, nephews or grandchildren but please do pass the stories on...They will love you for it =)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2004

    Awsome Book!!! :)

    This book is increadibly funny. I loved it so much because it reminded me a lot of myself when I was a child. To all young readers out there searching for a good fiction/comedy book, I recomend all Beverly Cleary books

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2003

    Ramona is even a bigger pest than now!!!

    i read this book and thought that it was one of the funniest books that i have ever read!! i loved it when thought that Miss. Binney was going to give her a present. Ramona i really advise anyone that reads this to read Ramona the Pest and you will knock your socks off with so much laugther!!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    9 year old daughter loves Ramona!

    My 9 year old did not always enjoy reading the 30 minutes a day her school requires, until I gave her Beezus and Ramona, and now Ramona the Pest on my Nook. Beverly Cleary is timeless.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)):):):):)::) cncncmcjdjddk

    100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000)0)000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000)000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000))000000000000000000000000000This is how many stars it should get:)

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    adorable and hilarious

    cutest book ever get it

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Cute book

    I love the rsmona books. Ramona the pest is a great one. She reminds me of one of my friendsvwhen she did the exact same thing as Ramona! At school she chased a boy around, pinned him to the ground, and kissed him. That was in kindergarten

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    :)

    You can never go wrong with Romona the pest. I loved this book as i was growing up and many of the crazy thimgs she got into. Great book. If you havent read it i strongly sugest that you dive into it and go on her crazy wonderful adventures im sure you'll love it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Love it

    I love it. It is funny and exciting. Ramona is a funny girl. She reminds me so much of my dsister so i just got to love her

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Good

    Im an 11 year old and i love this book!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    Every kid is a Ramona

    I love Ramona because every kid can relate to her. She means well, but is misunderstood. She tries to be good, but can't compete with her perfect older sister, Beezus. I love all the Ramona books!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2007

    Very Funny

    The Ramona books are so funny,creative, and funny!My sister also loves to read them,and if she were here,she would rate it a million stars.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    I love it!!!!!!!!!

    I just turned nine yesterday and i can not put these books down!!!!!!!!!!
    I absalutly think we should have a world celabration for the writrr of this book!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Mikayah Mikayah Michaud

    "Ramona the Pest" is one of the #1 books that is interesting, entertaining, and exciting by Beverly Clearly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Listen and tap here...

    Hey thanks for taping here. There was someone who said there is cussing and sexual content. The only sexual content there is was ramona tried to kiss a boy once or twice. But i assure you there isnt any more sexual content and there is absoloutly no cussing. Ramona the pest is an adorable book. I like the part where ramona tried to kiss davy. It reminds me of my little brother when he was in kindergaerten. He chased a girl around too and i think he finally kissed her. Well anyway this is a great book and its my favorite of all ramona books.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Ramona is a pest

    U may disagree but I think that Ramona is a pest. But I love the book its so good.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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