|Media type||Print (Hardback and Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Ramona Quimby, Age 8 -1981|
|Followed by||Ramona's World -1999|
Ramona Forever is a humorous children's novel written by Beverly Cleary. The seventh book in the Ramona Quimby series, it continues the story of Ramona, her older sister Beezus, and their family. They are finally old enough to stay home together, and they work hard to get along. Mrs. Quimby is pregnant and Aunt Bea gets engaged in a book that sees Ramona coping with growing up. It was originally published in 1984.
Ramona is growing up. She and Beezus manage to convince their parents to let them stay home alone together after school for one week to see how it goes. One day, they get into a fight about Beezus' newly found skin problems. The next day, they find their cat, Picky Picky, dead in the basement. They forgive each other and handle his funeral and burial themselves, and their parents decide they are responsible enough to take care of themselves. Ramona is especially happy not to have to go to the Kemps' house after school any more because she no longer has to deal with Howie's bratty younger sister Willa Jean, his nagging grandmother, or their house which according to Beezus "smells like old soup." She also isn't too fond of Howie's rich Uncle Hobart who has arrived from Saudi Arabia. He's the kind of man who thinks it's funny to tease kids and Ramona doesn't like him.
There are more changes coming for the Quimbys. Mr. Quimby is almost finished with college and everyone hopes he'll get a teaching job in the area. It's especially important because Mrs. Quimby is pregnant with their third child, and she plans on staying home to take care of it. Beezus thinks it will be wonderful to have a baby around to take care of, but Ramona realizes she won't be the youngest any more. She's not sure how she feels about being the middle child.
Before she gets a chance to find out, something else changes: Aunt Bea and Uncle Hobart get engaged. Beezus and Ramona are to be maids of honor in their wedding. They only have two weeks to plan it, though, and by the time the day arrives everyone in the neighborhood has become involved. By the time baby Roberta arrives, Ramona realizes, along with her family, that "She was winning at growing up."
Kirkus Reviews gave the book a starred review, for "books of remarkable merit", saying, "It's a measure of Cleary's talent and acumen that the Quimbys are as credible in the mid-1980s as they were in the mid-1950s."
- Ramona Quimby - The novel's protagonist.
- Beatrice "Beezus" Quimby - Ramona's older sister who is in the seventh grade.
- Robert Quimby - Ramona and Beezus' father.
- Dorothy Quimby - Ramona and Beezus' mother.
- Howard "Howie" Kemp - Ramona's friend since nursery school in Beezus and Ramona.
- Aunt Bea - The girls' aunt and Dorothy's sister. First introduced in Beezus and Ramona. A third grade teacher.
- Hobart Kemp - Howie's rich uncle who marries Aunt Bea and become the girls' uncle in the ninth chapter.
- Willa Jean Kemp - Howie's messy little sister.
- Picky Picky - The Quimbys' cat who dies at the age of 12 in the fourth chapter.
- Roberta Day Quimby - Ramona and Beezus' new baby sister who is born in the last chapter.
Audio Formats: The book is available in cassette, CD and eAudiobook from Random House/Listening Library; VHs tape from Atlantis Films/Ramona Productions;
Print/English: Braille available from Dell, large print books through Dell, and e-Books through HarperCollins;
Print/Worldwide: As of 2010, 109 editions of Ramona Forever had been published in 9 languages.