Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ramona and Her Father

Cleary, Beverly. 1977. Ramona and Her Father.

In Ramona and Her Father, the reader finds Ramona in second grade and her older sister, Beezus, in seventh grade. Things aren't all well at the Quimby house. In the opening chapter, Mr. Quimby loses his job. In the upcoming days and weeks and months, we see changes in all sizes at the Quimby house. Her mother now works full time. Her dad is at home. Not at home doing nothing, but at home anxiously job-seeking and in a constant state of waiting. Waiting for the phone call. Waiting for news of work. At first Ramona thinks having her dad home in the afternoons--once she's home from school--will be all fun. She soon learns that while he's doing the best he can under the circumstances, he is unhappy and a little cranky. Beezus is not as perfect as she first appeared in the series. (I for one never bought it.) She's entering that age as Mrs. Quimby says. The stage where she's not her parents' little darling any longer. Ramona is acting less of a pest and more grown-up than ever. Not that she's free of getting into messes. No, a few of those do appear. But the novel is more serious. This typically happy-go-lucky family is facing hard times. But through it all, they remain a family. A family mostly united. A family that can still see the humor in life. Picky-picky's eating of the jack-o'-lantern. Ramona's crown of thorns. Ramona's sheepish Christmas play.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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