Ramona the Pest
This humorous book is not in a series but is the first in a collection of eight books with Ramona Quimby as the main character. Written by Beverly Cleary, the Ramona Collection is published by HarperTrophy, which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Ramona the Pest is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Five-year-old Ramona Quimby is thrilled to begin kindergarten and loves her teacher, Miss Binney. When the class laughs at her show-and-tell doll's name, Chevrolet, her teacher defends it, and Miss Binney allows Ramona to write the letter Q, decorated like a cat with whiskers and a tail, after her name. When a substitute teacher replaces Miss Binney, Ramona is upset. Her sister Beezus and the principal help her return to class.
Ramona has good intentions, but they go awry. She loves a classmate's springy curls and cannot resist playing with them, which lands her in trouble. She wants to be the naptime wake-up fairy. To show how she is resting properly, she snores and therefore isn't chosen. She and a classmate fight over a red ribbon, and she chases another classmate, Davy, to kiss him. One rainy day, Ramona finds a worm and wears it around her finger like an engagement ring. When Henry Huggins rescues her from mud, Ramona declares that she will marry Henry instead of Davy — and Davy is glad.
At Halloween, Ramona dresses up as a witch but discovers that being covered by a mask can feel scary. She fears that she has lost her identity. She makes and carries a sign that has her name with her animated Q on it. When Ramona loses a tooth at school, she becomes so excited that she can't stop playing with Susan's curls. Miss Binney sends Ramona home. Feeling that her teacher doesn't love her anymore, Ramona decides that she will never return to kindergarten. Later that day, a classmate brings her a letter from Miss Binney that asks her to come back to kindergarten. Ramona decides to return.
Other Belief Systems
Ramona dresses like a witch for Halloween, but there is no discussion of witchcraft.
There is name-calling by Ramona and the other children in the story, such as "tattletale" or "crybaby," but nothing profane.
Ramona tells Davy, a boy in her kindergarten class, that she is going to kiss him and chases him around the schoolyard each morning as the rest of the class encourages him to run away from her.
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Readability Age Range
8 to 12
HarperTrophy, which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Georgia Children's Book Award (1969-1970); Nene Award (Hawaii) (1971); Sequoyah Children's Book Award (Oklahoma) (1971)