Ramona is entering the third grade with trepidation. She's being bussed to a new school with new kids, like Yard Ape, a boy who teases her. She's not sure what to make of her new teacher Mrs Whaley either. She looks like Ramona's swim teacher and addresses the class as "you guys."
Things at home are nerve wracking too. Her Dad just started art school which means her Mom has to keep her job or who knows what might happen. Ramona has to be quiet while her Dad studies and behave herself at Mrs Kemp's (the babysitter) so Mom can keep working. That's not easy when her best friend Howie rides his bike with his friends while she has to keep Willa Jean occupied indoors. Life is just not fair.
Being 8 is not easy. That's what I got from Ramona Quimby, Age 8. You're too little for some things and too big for others. It's hard to behave when you have to and bad things happen to you all the time. Poor Ramona. We felt sorry for her. She's having an awful lot of bad days.
My daughter could relate to Ramona. She has days when she comes home from school and declares, "This was the Worst Day Ever." Ramona's Worst Days are pretty bad: raw egg in the hair, throwing up in class. Those are right up there in Worst Days.
Things in the Quimby household are tense these days too. Ramona doesn't just have her own worries on her mind but the worries of her family as well. She doesn't like hearing her parents having serious talks when she goes to bed. She tries to be extra good so they won't have to worry about her on top of worrying about money, work, the broke down car.
Even though the tone of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 is sometimes a sombre one there are funny moments and the book ends with a "happy ending for today." It's definite a favorite of ours now.
- Ramona throwing up in class- "Jane* did that in class last year."
- The cigarette machine- "What's a cigarette machine?"
- DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)- "We did that in grade 2."