Sunday, November 20, 2011
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
I am not a re-reader. Rarely does a book capture my heart so fully that I am willing to read it twice - twice out loud even. But this is one of them. I read it to my daughter when she was in early elementary school and I have just finished reading it out loud to my sons who are nearly nine and six. I never finished a chapter without them begging for one more and my six year old in particular was adamant about getting at least one chapter before bed every night.
Ramona is just a girl. A little sister to Beezus. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quimby. Third grade student. Everything about her is so normal but her imagination and her down-to-earth worries and frustrations are so familiar and poignantly spot-on that you can't help but feel like she's an actual real person. It's not as though she has "adventures," per say, just more like she experiences the sorts of things that happen to any other eight year old. She gets sick at school. She misunderstands her teacher. She gets in quarrels with her family. She worries about money because she can tell her parents are worried - it might as well have been written in 2011 instead of 1981, with how relevant her issues still are. In fact, within 3 days of reading the "getting sick at school" chapter to my 3rd grader son, he got sick at school. We had to laugh about that.
Beverly Clearly has truly created a timeless character in Ramona. When I asked how many stars this book deserved between one and five, I got a firm "FIVE." And I totally agree.
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