Ramona Quimby, Age 8
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Ramona and Her Mother|
|Followed by||Ramona Forever|
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1981) by Beverly Cleary is the sixth book of the popular Ramona series. Ramona Quimby is in the third grade, now at a new school, and making some new friends. With Beezus in Jr. High and Mr. Quimby going back to college, Ramona feels the pressure with everyone counting on her to manage at school by herself and get along with Willa Jean after school every day. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was named a Newbery Honor book in 1982.
The schools in Ramona Quimby's neighborhood have been reorganized, and now she gets to ride the bus to Cedarhurst Primary, where she and her fellow third graders will be the biggest kids in the school. Ramona is happy about the changes until a boy on the bus steals her new eraser, but she rises to the challenge and ends up deciding the "Yard Ape" (the boy who stole her eraser) may not be so bad, after all.
Ramona feels the best part of being in third grade is Sustained Silent Reading. Ramona loves getting time to read in school every day. The worst part is that she isn't sure if her teacher, Mrs. Whaley, likes her. When Ramona cracks a hard boiled egg on her head at lunch—and finds out her mother forgot to boil it—she ends up in the secretary's office with a head full of raw egg, where she overhears Mrs. Whaley describe her as a show-off and a nuisance. Even Yard Ape can't make her feel better about that. Things get worse when she throws up in class and her mother has to leave work to take her home.
For Ramona, there's also the problem of spoiled Willa Jean. Every day after school Howie goes outside to ride bikes with his friends, and Ramona is forced to play baby games with Willa Jean. Beezus can always say she's busy doing homework, but that doesn't work for Ramona. She strives to use her creativity to find ways to help her family get along.
Critics welcomed the latest volume in this series, praising Cleary's ability to convey the real concerns of ordinary children with clarity and sensitivity. The Children's Literature review says, "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."
Kirkus Reviews agree that readers will identify with Ramona, writing "Though the family has its money worries and its cranky days, things are never so bad that a Sunday dinner at the Whopperburger can't cheer them up... As always, Ramona's thought processes are amusing, touching, and revealing. Once more, Cleary shows us life through Ramona's eyes and shows her young readers that they are not alone."
In 1986, Choosing Books for Kids included Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in its list of Ten Books for Eights and Nines Too Good to Miss, and says "Cleary paints a real world kids can readily relate to."
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- "Top 100 Children’s Novels #57". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 Trivia Game Retrieved 4/28/2012
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 Word Search Retrieved 4/28/2012