After re-reading a series that I enjoyed almost thirty years ago…I’m closing the chapter on one of my favorite childhood reads, with a story I hadn’t read in the 1990s!
Ramona’s World by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I dreaded this moment, ever since I found out two years ago that there was, in fact, one more story for Ramona Quimby. It came out when I was in high school in 1999, and considering that I stopped reading the books in 1994, teenage me wasn’t seeking the stories out.
Beverly Cleary’s “Merry Sunshine” of a girl, the “girl who could not wait, takes her bow in the eighth story of her series, Ramona’s World. Forty-four years after her series began, it was ending, keeping Ramona an eternal child, despite the generations that followed her journeys through childhood and grew up before her story was over. I myself wasn’t quite grown up by the time this happened, but I wasn’t reading children’s literature at that point. So imagine my surprise, in my mid-30s, when I found out there was an eighth book! I was excited – it was two years ago, and I was starting my re-read of the series all over again, almost thirty years after I started. I have always loved Ramona, and couldn’t wait to see what happened next for her!
Ramona is moving onto fourth grade, and new challenges for our protagonist – there’s spelling, conquering the rings on the playground (and building up the best calluses!), Ramona’s new sister Roberta, trying to be nice to Susan, and a sudden little crush on Yard Ape. Ramona also winds up making a new best friend, Daisy Kidd, who takes on the world with our protagonist. And there is that big momentous step toward being a teenager – the double digit birthday!
I loved this story! It is amazing how a child whose story started in the 1950s could continue to be relevant in the 1990s, but Beverly Cleary managed to make it work. Even fifteen years after Ramona’s last story, it still only seems like a matter of weeks in between stories. There is no mention of current technology or anything that would make any of Ramona’s stories sound dated, aside from words and expressions. This story is timeless, funny, and relatable, as all of Ramona’s stories have been. My world is brighter – and my heart fuller – knowing that Ramona has been a part of my reading life. Knowing that Beverly Cleary chose retirement upon concluding Ramona’s story is a great way to end a career of telling stories about “kids like us.” What an incredible legacy to leave for readers for many years to come!
Like the rest of this series, Ramona’s World gets a high recommendation from me!
View all my reviews