Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
Mr. Quinby's going to college, Mrs. Quinby's going to work. Now that Ramona is eight, she can go to a new school with a new teacher and ride the bus all by herself. But after school she has to stay with Grandmother Kemp and be nice to that bratty little Willa Jean until Beezuswho's tempermental enough to ruin anyone's daycomes to take her home. Life isn't as easy for Ramona as it used to be. All the Quimbys have to adjust, and Ramona gets her chance to prove that she's "big enough for her family to depend on."
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Series:||Harcourt School Publishers Treasury of Literature Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.82(w) x 0.31(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 11 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.
Read an Excerpt
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 enoughshe hopedto 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.
Reading Group Guide
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
By Beverly Cleary
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 upat 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.
- Why is it so hard for Ramona to be nice to Howie Kemp's four-year-old sister Willa Jean? Why does Ramona's mother say that getting along at the Kemps' is Ramona's job in the family?
- How does Ramona manage to deal with Danny, a boy on her school bus, when he calls her Bigfoot? Why is it that, once she gets her eraser back from him, Ramona begins to sort of like him?
- Why does Mrs. Whaley, Ramona's third grade teacher, call Sustained Silent Reading period D.E.A.R.? Why doesn't Ramona like the name? Why is it the best part of the school day, according to Ramona and Howie? How does Ramona use Sustained Silent Reading after school to help her get along with WillaJean?
- Who started the hard-boiled egg fad at school? What happens when Ramona tries to follow the fad?
- What does Ramona overhear Mrs. Whaley saying about her and why does it hurt her feelings? Do you think Ramona is really a show-off and a nuisance?
- When Ramona and her older sister Beezus complain about what they are eating for dinner, Mr. Quimby decides that the two girls will make dinner the following night. Do you think this is a reasonable punishment? Were you surprised that the dinner Beezus and Ramona came up with was such a success? Would you know how to make dinner (from scratch) if your parents asked you to? What would you make?
- Ramona makes an effort to be less of a nuisance, but suddenly the most terrible thing happens and she becomes a "supernuisance" by throwing up at school! Then, at the risk of being a show-off, in place of a book report Ramona writes a kind of commercial to "sell" her book. It turns out Mrs. Whaley doesn't have a bad opinion of Ramona after all. Why are Ramona's teachers always so important to her?
- What is the "happy ending" to the day when the Quimby's go out for dinner together one dismal rainy Sunday when everyone is cross?