Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Beverly Cleary
Illustrator:  Tracy Dockray 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 10
HarperCollins, 2006   ISBN: 978-0380709564

Ramona Quimby is happy because her much loved father no longer has to work at the ShopRite Market. Instead, he is going to go to college so that he can learn how to become a teacher. So, on the first day of school, Ramona, her sister Beezus, and Mr. Quimby all have to remember their lunches and prepare themselves mentally for the lessons that they will soon be taking.

Ramona is excited because she is now in the third grade, and she gets to ride a bus to school. On the bus she does her best to behave in a very grown up way, but it is not easy to do because an annoying boy keeps kicking the back of her seat, and she is sorely tried when he takes her brand new pink eraser and won’t give it back.

School turns out to be quite interesting, and Ramona particularly likes the D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read) program that her teacher has implemented. What she does not like is having to go to the Kemps’ house after school. Having to play with, and be nice to, four-year-old Willa Jean is not easy. Willa is always bullying Ramona to play games with her, and Ramona feels that she has to comply because her parents are “counting” on her to do her part to help out and support them. She has to go to the Kemps after school because her mother has to work, and so that her father can go to school.

Unfortunately, life does not get easier as the days go by. When Ramona overhears her teacher say that Ramona is a “nuisance” and “a show off” she quite loses interest in school. To be honest she feels very unhappy, and she wishes more than anything that her teacher would like her. Who knew being an eight-years-old was going to be so hard?

In this sixth Ramona title, we see how the little girl who was once such a pest tries to come to terms with being an eight-year-old who has to be a helpful member of her family. Making sacrifices for others is never easy, but Ramona tries very hard to do the right thing for her father’s sake.

In this story, Beverly Cleary combines humor with sensitivity to give readers a book that will entertain and charm them. Ramona may only be eight, but her story has something to offer readers of all ages.