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|Cover artist||Alan Tiegreen|
|August 25, 1999|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Ramona Forever -1984|
Ramona's World is the eighth book in the Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and her sister Beezus are growing up. Ramona is in the fourth grade now, and for the first time she has a best girl-friend, Daisy Kidd. At home she tries her best to be a good role model for her baby sister Roberta, but finds baby sitting harder than she expected. Published in 1999, Ramona's World was written fifteen years after its predecessor, Ramona Forever. It was the last published installment in the series, as well as the last book Ms. Cleary published.
Ramona's world is changing. There's tiny baby Roberta at home, and as Ramona adjusts to being a big sister, she discovers that she likes teaching Roberta to do things such as sticking out her tongue. In fourth grade, she finally has a best friend, the new student Daisy Kidd (who is also new to the neighborhood). At school Ramona is frustrated with her teacher, Mrs. Meacham. Mrs. Meacham pushes her students to be proper spellers; spelling is a difficult subject for Ramona.
Beezus, a 14-year-old just entering high school, starts speaking French around the house, spending a lot of time on the phone talking about boys and asking her friends about who she should date, which makes her little sister mad. Ramona begins to feel forgotten as Beezus, while Mr. Quimby and Mrs. Quimby are always fussing over Roberta.
Ramona's rivalry with Susan, her nemesis since kindergarten, continues. Ramona's parents and Susan's parents have become friends, and both sets of parents have asked their daughters to get along with each other. Ramona is frustrated by Susan's perfect attitude. She reluctantly invites Susan to her "zero teenth" (or tenth) birthday party at the park at her mother's insistence. At the party, Susan is rude to Ramona, and eats an apple instead of the birthday cake telling everybody that it can cause cavities and might have germs since Ramona blew out the candles. This makes the girls reluctant to eat cake, which upsets Ramona. Daisy stands up for Ramona and tells them that it's rude to talk about germs at a birthday party and who cares if little germs get on the cake saying how it's not like they got the cake from the floor. The girls realize that Daisy's right and they turn against Susan. By surprise, Susan throws away her apple, bursts into tears and admits that she’s tired of having to be perfect all the time and how nobody likes her because of it. She states that Ramona is not perfect but is liked by everyone, and how she has homemade Valentine's Day cards while Susan's are just store bought. For the first time, Ramona feels sorry for Susan and defends her, showing that Ramona is beginning to be able to see things from someone else's point of view (which means that she is growing more mature) and Mrs. Quimby tells Susan that she doesn't have to be perfect because not everybody is perfect. This makes Susan realize how mean-spirited she has been, and she decides to eat some of the birthday cake along with other boys from the park. In the end, Mrs. Quimby kisses Ramona's hair like she kisses Roberta's and says, "Ten is the best age of growing up".
The following characters appear in the novel:
- Ramona Quimby, Beezus and Roberta's 9-year-old sister, and protagonist of the story
- Beatrice "Beezus" Quimby, Ramona and Roberta's 14-year-old sister, who is now in ninth grade.
- Dorothy Quimby, Ramona's mother
- Robert Quimby, Ramona's father
- Daisy Kidd, a girl who is new to the neighborhood, who soon becomes Ramona's best friend
- Jeremy Kidd, Daisy's older brother; he and Beezus seem to like one another
- Howard "Howie" Kemp, Ramona's childhood-friend-turned-cousin, thanks to the marriage of his uncle and her aunt
- Danny (no last name given), nicknamed "Yard Ape", Ramona's friend
- Roberta Day Quimby, Beezus and Ramona's baby sister
- Mrs. Meacham, Ramona's fourth grade teacher.
- Susan Kushner, Ramona's rival since kindergarten, also someone who her mom frequently tells her to hang out and be friends with again
Reviewers' reactions to Cleary's books continues to be positive, as seen in Kirkus Reviews: "Ramona returns, and she’s as feisty as ever… Cleary picks up on all the details of fourth grade, from comparing hand calluses to the distribution of little plastic combs by the school photographer. This year Ramona is trying to improve her spelling, and Cleary is especially deft at limning the emotional nuances as Ramona fails and succeeds, goes from sad to happy, and from hurt to proud… Despite a brief mention of nose piercing, Cleary’s writing still reflects a secure middle-class family and untroubled school life, untouched by the classroom violence or the broken families of the 1990s. While her book doesn’t match what’s in the newspapers, it’s a timeless, serene alternative for children..."
Last Book of the Series
Ramona’s World is Beverly Cleary's last published book. Ramona remains frozen at age 10, while her sister, Beezus, is 14 and just entering high school. Concerning what Ramona might have been like when she hit puberty, Cleary was happy to leave her as is before her puberty stage, which she considers a nightmare. “I think writers need to know when to retire,” she said.
In a 1995 interview, Cleary believes that Ramona will “be all right” when she grows up. "She'll do something creative. She liked to draw because her father liked to draw. Children often live out their parents' frustrations.”
- Audio Formats: Ramona's World is available in cassette, CD and eAudiobook from Random House/Listening Library;
- Print/English: Braille available from Morrow Junior Books, e-Book through HarperCollins;
- Print/Worldwide: As of 2010, 53 editions of Ramona's World had been published in 7 languages.
- "Ramona's World". Kirkus reviews. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- Krug, Nora (April 3, 2016). "Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today 'don't have the freedom' I had". Washington Post.
- "10 Facts About Beverly Cleary's Ramona Books". Mental Floss. Mental Floss. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- "Formats and Editions". Ramona's World. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "Editions". Ramona's World. Retrieved April 30, 2012.