Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is a book in the “Ramona” series.
Now in third grade, Ramona Quimby has adjusted to school but finds that relationships with her friends and family members can be just as challenging as spelling and math.
When her friend Howie announces that his Uncle Hobart has come to visit, Ramona learns to be polite, even though she doesn’t like him. Things are difficult at home, too, because Mr. Quimby can’t find a teaching job. Ramona worries that the family may have to sell their home and move to Saudi Arabia, where Uncle Hobart lives.
One day Ramona’s older sister, Beezus, confides in her that their mother is expecting a baby. Ramona is afraid that her parents won’t love her as much after the baby is born. She seeks reassurance from her mother and father and spends time with her sister dreaming up clever names for the baby.
The Quimby’s cat, Picky Picky, has been part of the family for as long as Ramona can remember, but after school one day, she and her sister discover that he has died. Not wanting to upset their mother, the girls bury their cat and conduct an endearing funeral service.
Life becomes more complicated when Ramona’s Aunt Beatrice announces that she and Uncle Hobart are planning to get married and move to Alaska. Although Beatrice says there is no time to plan a wedding, Uncle Hobart promises to take care of everything. When Hobart takes Ramona and Beezus shopping for bridesmaid dresses and ice cream, Ramona decides that having him for an uncle will be nice after all.
Soon Ramona’s emotions are a roller coaster. One day she is delighted to be the hero at her aunt’s wedding by finding the ring when it falls on the floor during the service. The next day she’s disappointed because her baby sister “Roberta” is born, and Ramona is told that she is too young to visit the maternity ward. Her father sympathizes, saying that growing up is hard work and that being a grown-up is hard work, too. The book ends with Ramona realizing that she used to be as small and helpless as her new baby sister, and now she is her wonderful self.
Ramona and Beezus say a prayer while burying their cat. The two sisters forgive each other after a quarrel.
Ramona’s father and mother are presented as the authority figures at home. They are kind and try to parent Ramona through her real and imagined difficulties.
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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.