Ramona Quimby, one of the most loved characters in children's fiction, has now reached third grade. At school, she acquires a new teacher, Mrs. Whaley, who addresses the class as "you guys." At home, she helps the family "squeak by" as her father returns to college to become an art teacher.
All the Quimbys have their ups and downs, but none feels them more intensely than Ramona. Her low point is undoubtedly reached the day she throws up in class and Mrs. Whaley instructs the children to hold their noses and file into the hall. But three days later Ramona recovers her verve sufficiently to give a book report in the style of a T.V. commercial, bringing down the house with her final ad-lib line of "I can't believe I read the whole thing!"
Writing with humor and compassion, Beverly Cleary continues her chronicle of a child's growth and lovingly reaffirms the durability of the memorable Quimby family. They may not be nice all the time, but they stick together through good times and bad.
Dockray's charming illustrations update the look of this classic Newbery Honor book from Cleary. In this adventure, Ramona enters third grade, just as her older sister Beatrice (Beezus) begins junior high, and her father returns to college to become a teacher himself. Ramona's irrepressible personality turns the everyday events of her life into escapades of dramatic proportions. Giving a book report to her class becomes a choreographed version of a TV commercial, and eating lunch in the school cafeteria turns into a dangerous event, when her mother accidentally sends a raw egg rather than a hardboiled one in Ramona's lunch. Overhearing her teacher call her a nuisance leads Ramona to soul searching, as she tries to reconcile her teacher's words with her own opinion of herself. Kids may easily identify with Ramona's difficulties, as Cleary depicts this "typical" white American middle-class family with warmth and interest. Cleary tackles the difficult issue of describing a happy family with grace; the Quimby family is far from perfect, and although not poverty-stricken, they are also far from rich. Part of the "Ramona" series.