Ramona 10-12

Ramona and her Father (Henry-Ramona #10)
Ramona and her family face uncertainty and tough times after her father loses his job. Her mother is forced to find full-time work and money is extremely tight. This is one part I’ve always liked about the Ramona series: the Quimby family is not well off. Neither parent at this point in the series has managed to find a job with prospects, and money is a stressor. And the fact is, kids are not stupid; even if they don’t quite understand about taxes and utilities and that sort of thing, they understand when things are stressful and they react to it. Now, I don’t think I’ll be spoiling too much when I note that Mr. Quimby gets a job at the end of the book, but what’s interesting is the clear effort it takes to get the job (which is certainly no fairy tale ending); Cleary isn’t trying to make things overly rosy, but realistic in an age appropriate way.

Ramona and her Mother (Henry-Ramona #11)
This book picks up directly after the last ended, as Mr. Quimby is about to begin his new job. Throughout the book we follow the thread of how the family is continuing to recover from the stress of his unemployment and the new pressure of now having two parents working full time in jobs they don’t necessarily find particularly fulfilling. In parallel to this we also have Ramona who is in the midst of a crisis of sorts, feeling disconnected from her mother — they don’t seem to share as many interests or personality traits as she’d like, especially when compared to her mom and Beezus who are very close.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Henry-Ramona #12)
The start of third grade brings a number of changes to the Quimby household — Ramona is now off to a new school after a district reorganization, Mr. Quimby is heading back to college, and Beezus is off to junior high. Money is as tight as it’s ever been now that they’re down to fewer than two paychecks again, and the whole family is inclined to snipe at one another. I do like the realism and there’s a good sense that underneath it all the Quimby family cares very much about one another. I like that the family grows and develops, especially this new plan of Ramona’s dad going back to school. But all the same, somehow Ramona was more fun when she was younger.



4 comments

  1. jun:

    I am not sure, but I think the first Ramona book I read was probably Ramona Quimby, Age 8. I remember DEAR and some tsetse flies and going to the office for being a pest and perhaps a fast food restaurant? Is that all in this book?


    (November 11th, 2010 at 2:45 pm)
  2. K:

    I’m pretty sure that’s all in Age 8, yeah. Impressive memory. :)


    (November 11th, 2010 at 8:14 pm)
  3. jun:

    I think she pukes at one point, too. I’m pretty sure reading about puking captured my attention quite well.

    Oh, and I remember her dad snapping her with a dish towel and her giggling.


    (November 12th, 2010 at 11:08 am)
  4. K:

    I think the puking may have been an earlier book. Gah. Now they’re all getting confused in my head. :)


    (November 13th, 2010 at 1:51 pm)
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