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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Ramona the Brave

TITLE: Ramona the Brave
Book #3 of the Ramona Quimby SeriesAUTHOR: Beverly Cleary
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 2000 (first published 1975)
FORMAT: Paperback, 190 pages
GENRE: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 978-0439148009


In this touching and funny story, the ebullient Ramona, feeling brave and grown-up, enters first grade. Quickly she finds that her new teacher, Mrs. Griggs, appears perplexed by pupils who like to be different. Since Ramona cannot help being different, clearly the two are incompatible.
Nevertheless, Ramona can be counted on to keep things lively. Enraged when Susan copies her wise old owl prepared for Parents' Night and receives praise for it, Ramona rebels. Overcome by guilt and no longer brave, she tries mightily thereafter to please her teacher, but still Mrs. Griggs infuriatingly reports home that Ramona lacks self-control. Only because she is a girl with spunk, to use her father's word, does Ramona's courage return, earning her at last an uneasy truce with the teacher.
Beverly Cleary draws here a portrait of a little girl discovering with astonishment that the way others see her is not always the way she sees herself. In the contrast lie moments of emerging self-knowledge for Ramona and of delicious hilarity for the reader.

I read this book aloud to my daughters.

In the third book of the Ramona Quimby series, Ramona has entered first grade. She realizes that it is much different than kindergarten, and she finds it a little bit frightening and misses her kindergarten teacher, Miss Binney.

Although initially excited at having her very own bedroom, Ramona finds that her room can be a scary place at night. I had to laugh as I remembered doing the exact same thing when I was a child: Standing in the doorway and turning off the light and then taking a flying leap to the bed so that the monsters underneath could not grab my ankles! I could always relate to Ramona's feelings when I was a child, and I know that my kids can relate to her as well.

I love how Cleary shows in her books that it is okay for kids to be frightened. The world can be a scary place for someone so little, and it is reassuring for kids to read that other kids their age have the same fears.

Cleary books are timeless! The issues and fears that Ramona has are just as relevant today as they were 36 years ago when the book was first written.

My girls can't wait to find out what happens next in the series!

MY RATING: 4 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#37 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#16 for my What an Animal Reading Challenge IV


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