Ramona and Her Father

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Ramona and Her Father

by Beverly Cleary

Age: 7

Interests: family, siblings, strong girls

William Morrow & Co.: 1975

186 pages

Also by this author: Ramona the Pest, Ramona Quimby Age 8, Henry and Ribsy, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Dear Mr. Henshaw

Other similar books: Eleanor Estes’ books such as Ginger Pye

This is another volume in the much-loved series of books by Beverley Cleary. When Ramona’s father loses his job the whole family has to tighten their belts. Ramona doesn’t mind so much; what really bothers her is that everyone is so worried and unhappy. Ramona tries in her own way to help out, from practising to be a child star on tv to convincing her father to quit smoking. Family friction rises but is always worked out by Ramona’s patient and understanding parents. This is a story about a warm and loving family going through a tough period. Ramona’s father reassures her that things are all right as long as they have each other, and sure enough at the end of the book he gets a new job and the future brightens just in time for the Christmas pageant.

Beverley Cleary’s books about Ramona and Beezus, and Henry and his dog Ribsy loomed large in my childhood – long, long, long ago – but strangely these books don’t seem to age, even with plots that are fairly tame by modern standards. Cleary’s unsentimental approach keeps her stories current and identifiable. And it doesn’t hurt that they are so funny as well. Ramona’s rambling low-key adventures provide a perfect insight into the mind of a child, and Cleary’s portrayal of a lively eight-year-old’s thought processes is pitch perfect.

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.