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Ramona Quimby is the youngest of all the famous characters in Mrs. Cleary's wonderful Henry Huggins stories. She is also far and away the most deadly. Readers of the earlier books will remember that Ramona has always been a menace to Beezus, her older sister, to Henry, and to his dog Ribsy. It is not that Ramona deliberately sets out to make trouble for other people. She simply has more imagination than is healthy for any one person.

In this book Ramona and her imagination really come into their own. Starting with a fairly mild encounter with the librarian, which is harder on Beezus than anyone else, Ramona goes from strength to strength, winding up by inviting her entire kindergarten class to a part at her home without mentioning it to her mother. The riot that ensues is probably the most hilarious episode in this extremely funny book, which proves that Mrs. Cleary's imagination is almost as lively as Ramona's.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380709182
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Series: Ramona Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 30,831
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, Oregon, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children's books when she grew up.

Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, "Where are the books about kids like us?" she remembered her teacher's encouragement and was inspired to write the books she'd longed to read but couldn't find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. Dear Mr. Henshaw won the Newbery Medal, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.

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.


Carmel, California

Date of Birth:

April 12, 1916

Place of Birth:

McMinnville, Oregon


B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Beezus and Her Little Sister

Beatrice Quimby's biggest problem was her little sister Ramona. Beatrice, or Beezus (as everyone called her, because that was what Ramona had called her when she first learned to talk), knew other nine-year-old girls who had little sisters who went to nursery school, but she did not know anyone with a little sister like Ramona.

Beezus felt that the biggest trouble with fouryear-old Ramona was that she was just plain exasperating. If Ramona drank lemonade through a straw, she blew into the straw as hard as she could to see what would happen. If she played with her finger paints in the front yard, she wiped her hands on the neighbors' cat. That was the exasperating sort of thing Ramona did. And then there was the way she behaved about her favorite book.

It all began one afternoon after school when Beezus was sitting in her father's big chair embroidering a laughing teakettle on a pot holder for one of her aunts for Christmas. She was trying to embroider this one neatly, because she planned to give it to Aunt Beatrice, who was Mother's younger sister and Beezus' most special aunt.

With gray thread Beezus carefully outlined the steam coming from the teakettle's spout and thought about her pretty young aunt, who was always so gay and so understanding. No wonder she was Mother's favorite sister. Beezus hoped to be exactly like Aunt Beatrice when she grew up. She wanted to be a fourth-grade teacher and drive a yellow convertible and live in an apartment house with an elevator and a buzzer that opened the front door. Because she was named after Aunt Beatrice, Beezus felt she might belike her in other ways, too.

While Beezus was sewing, Ramona, holding a mouth organ in her teeth, was riding around the living room on her tricycle. Since she needed both hands to steer the tricycle, she could blow in and out on only one note. This made the harmonica sound as if it were groaning oh dear, oh dear over and over again.

Beezus tried to pay no attention. She tied a small knot in the end of a piece of red thread to embroider the teakettle's laughing mouth. "Conceal a knot as you would a secret," Grandmother always said.

Inhaling and exhaling into her mouth organ, Ramona closed her eyes and tried to pedal around the coffee table without looking.

"Ramona!" cried Beezus. "Watch where you're going!"

When Ramona crashed into the coffee table, she opened her eyes again. Oh dear, oh dear, moaned the harmonica. Around and around pedaled Ramona, inhaling and exhaling.

Beezus looked up from her pot holder. "Ramona, why don't you play with Bendix for a while?" Bendix was Ramona's favorite doll. Ramona thought Bendix was the most beautiful name in the world.

Ramona took the harmonica out of her mouth. "No," she said. "Read my Scoopy book to me."

"Oh, Ramona, not Scoopy," protested Beezus. "We've read Scoopy so many times."

Instead of answering, Ramona put her harmonica between her teeth again and pedaled around the room, inhaling and exhaling. Beezus had to lift up her feet every time Ramona rode by.

The knot in Beezus' thread pulled through the material of her pot holder, and she gave up trying to conceal it as she would a secret and tied a bigger knot. Finally, tired of trying to keep her feet out of Ramona's way, she put clown her embroidery. "All right, Ramona," she said. "If I read about Scoopy, will you stop riding your tricycle around the living room and making so much noise?"

"Yes," said Ramona, and climbed off her tricycle. She ran into the bedroom she shared with Beezus and returned with a battered, dog-eared, sticky book, which she handed to Beezus. Then she climbed into the big chair beside Beezus and Waited expectantly.

Reflecting that Ramona always managed to get her own way, Beezus gingerly took the book and looked at it with a feeling of great dislike. It was called The Littlest Steam Shovel. On the cover was a picture of a steam shovel with big tears coming out of its eyes. How could a steam shovel have eyes, Beezus thought and, scarcely looking at the words, began for what seemed like the hundredth or maybe the thousandth time, "Once there was a little steam shovel named Scoopy. One day Scoopy said, 'I do not want to be a steam shovel. I want to be a bulldozer.'"

"You skipped," interrupted Ramona.

"No, I didn't," said Beezus.

"Yes you did,"insisted Ramona. "You're supposed to say, 'I want to be a big bulldozer.'"

"Oh, all right," said Beezus crossly. "'I want to be a big bulldozer.'"

Ramona smiled contentedly and Beezus continued reading. "'G-r-r-r,' said Scoopy, doing his best to sound like a bulldozer."

Beezus read on through Scoopy's failure to be a bulldozer. She read about Scoopy's wanting to be a trolley bus ("Beep-beep," honked Ramona), a locomotive ("A-hooey, a-hooey," wailed Ramona), and a pile driver ("Clunk! Clunk!" shouted Ramona). Beezus was glad when she finally reached the end of the story and Scoopy learned it was best for little steam shovels to be steam shovels. "There!" she said with relief, and closed the book. She always felt foolish trying to make noises like machinery.

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

Reading Group Guide


Beezus Quimby tries very hard to be patient with her little sister, but four-year-old Ramona has the habit of doing the most unpredictable, annoying, embarrassing things in the world. How many nine-year-old girls have to put up with a silly little sister who hops around in rabbit ears and bakes a rubber doll into her sister's birthday cake? Sometimes Beezus doesn't like Ramona very much, and that makes her feel very guilty. Sisters are supposed to love each other, but pesky little Ramona just doesn't seem very lovable to Beezus.

Discussion Questions

  1. Beezus Quimby's biggest problem is her nursery school-aged sister Ramona. Besides the fact that Ramona is "just plain exasperating" and always manages to get her own way, there are lots of times when Beezua just doesn't find her very lovable. Why do you think older sisters and brothers make this sort of complaint? What criticism do younger siblings make in response?

  2. When Ramona writes her name in a library book, the librarian says the book belongs to Ramona once the fine for the damage has been paid. To Beezus this doesn't quite seem fair. What alternative solution does Miss Evans, the librarian, come up with? Do you think it is a good idea?

  3. Compared to Ramona, who has too much imagination, Beezus sometimes feels like she has none at all. But one afternoon in art class, Beezus finds the inspiration to get rid of Ramona and to paint her best picture yet! And it is fun! What has Beezus learned about herself from this experience?

  4. When Ramona misbehaves by taking a single bit out of a number ofapples and tossing the rest onto the floor, Aunt Bea suggests that Beezus and her parents say nothing about it. Why? What is Ramona's reaction to not being scolded?

  5. Ramona invites a lot of children to a party without asking her mother's permission, explaining later, "When I ask you won't let me do things." What do you think of this reason for not asking permission? What do you think of the party that Mrs. Quimby and Beezus improvise?

  6. At her birthday dinner Beezus tells Ramona, "You can't have jelly on your mashed potatoes because you aren't supposed to." Of course, Beezus is right, but isn't this also an example of the difference between Beezus and Ramona, between being older and being younger? What are some arguments for and against the idea that "there are some things we don't do, because we aren't supposed to?"

  7. Beezus discovers that as girls, her mother and Aunt Bea had a relationship much like hers and Ramona's—and that wonderful Aunt Beatrice used to be every bit as awful as Ramona! Do you ever try to imagine your parents or your aunts and uncles as children? Is it hard or easy? How do you think they were like you or different from you?

About the author

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. When the family moved to Portland, where Mrs. Cleary attended grammar school and high school, she soon found herself in the low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers. By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew.

After graduation from junior college in Ontario, California, and the University of California at Berkeley, Mrs. Cleary entered the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle. There she specialized in library work with children. She was Children's Librarian in Yakima, Washington, until she married Clarence Cleary and moved to California. The Clearys are the parents of twins, now grown. Mrs. Cleary's hobbies are travel and needlework.

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 1983. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively. Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award. Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, was recently opened in Portland, Oregon.

This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and 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. There have been Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish television programs based on the Henry Huggins series. PBS-TV aired a ten-part series based on the Ramona stories. One-hour adaptations of the three Ralph S. Mouse books have been shown on ABC-TV. All of Mrs. Cleary's adaptations still can be seen on cable television, and the Ramona adaptations are available in video stores.

Customer Reviews

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Beezus and Ramona 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 283 reviews.
Asher Berwick More than 1 year ago
This book is a skilled and life like book about two sisters. The older sister named beezus is really annoyed and exasperated, by her her little sister ramona who is who beezus says she is just plain awful! And how she says she doesn't love her some- Times. So basicall this book saying how they get along and goes on between exasperating ramona and bezzus. I reccomend this book to a lot of people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a funny book about 2 sisters who have alot of fights.
JennGrrl More than 1 year ago
This book is still just as fun as I remember from when I was a kid. I read it for a reading club as a challenge book, and I'm glad I did. It's been over 20 years since I last read it, and now I'm going to grab the collection for my kids. I know they'd have a great time with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think all bevery clary books are good
Prudence Santos More than 1 year ago
This is a great book I could not even put it down. It had a great supence. I hope you get to read it!
twilight18 More than 1 year ago
I wanted to let people know that there is a movie coming out Ramona and Beezus starring Selena Gomez from Wizards of Waverly Place as Beezus and Joey King as Ramona. I have read some of Beverly Cleary when I was younger and loved them. But I am going to see this movie and I can't wait!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wish the entire sky full of stars were available to rate these books! I have read every Ramona book there is! I am 22 years old now, and although I read these books from kindergarten throughout grade school I still remember all of Ramona's adventures from all of Beverly Cleary's books about her. I still remember Ramona getting sick at school and feeling bad because the teacher calls her a nuisance; her doll she named 'Chevrolet' because she thought it was a pretty name; 'Picky-picky' the Quimby cat; Henry's dog getting locked in the bathroom; Ramona biting into about a hundred apples one time each because the first bite is the best; I could go on forever!! I wish I could thank Beverly Cleary for changing my life through her books and helping me to become such a fan of reading, and for helping me become the person that I am. Every parent should have their kids read Cleary's work. As a child, I could identify with Ramona and many other characters in the various books about her. These stories, while written quite a while back still hold up well today! If parents are looking for suitable reading material for their young children that they will enjoy as well, they should get all of the 'Ramona' books!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beezus biggest problem is her little sister Ramona the big pest. Beezus tries to love her but someway or another she gets furius. When she hears her mother and her aunt telling old stories she find out that she doesn't have to love Her sister.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like it because I can understand how Beezus feels, having an annoying sister like Ramona. It's a good thing she puts up with it, because I think she really loves Ramona deep down inside, and anyway, Beezus can't move out! My favorite part is when Ramona invites her friends over for a party and her mom doesn't know. I also liked it when she locked the dog in the bathroom, although I got a little scared reading it. I think this book would be recommended for children ages 6 to 10, with little brothers or sisters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it so...If you do not like the book get lost or jump off a cliff into a river of bull sharks and shut up you will need $ for the bandijis " I spelled that wrong"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its okay. I really liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the way Beazus is always on top of it and Ramona is the total opposite even though she thinks she is always. I wonder what Ramona will be like when she grows up?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A all in all good book for children ten and under.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good goney babe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book for kids im a kid but its very good. Also its good for people who have little sister or brother. Im giving it 4 stars because it just got boring at one part (chapter 3). Also read one direction books thay are moving they mack u feel brave that just what i think about one direction book if u dont like one direction dont read the books. Sorry i know this is not a 1D book but i love thrm so much! That all bye now ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The funniest book you are very tlented beverly clearly love barbara
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fgvvbvcffdfbcfddr. Ycrd'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this for my 11 year old son alexander but he still loved he said even though im eleven i still love simple books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love beverly clearys books! I bought this book and it was a great story of ramona and beezus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly cleary is a good author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!