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Book Review

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is a book in the "Ramona" series, a collection of eight books with Ramona Quimby as the main character.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Eight-year-old Ramona Quimby finds a lot to like about first grade, including Sustained Silent Reading and learning to write in cursive. But no matter how hard she tries to fit in with her peers and please her teacher, Miss Whaley, something always seems to go wrong. Whether it's her new sandals that squeak as she walks across the classroom or a jar of blue oatmeal that causes her to throw up, Ramona has a hard time staying out of trouble.

Being liked is very important to Ramona, so when everyone brings a hardboiled egg to school for lunch, she brings one, too. However, her mother accidentally packs a raw egg instead, and it makes a mess in Ramona's hair when she cracks it on her head. In the principal's office, Ramona overhears Miss Whaley call her a show-off and a nuisance. Ramona doesn't think she can face her teacher again. She is angry with her mother for causing her embarrassment and for a while can't forgive her. When she's punished for complaining about her dinner, Ramona wonders whether her own unhappiness is being caused by her hardheartedness. After her mother apologizes, Ramona is able to forgive her mother for making a mistake.

Ramona gives a book report to her class from behind a cat mask that she made. After Miss Whaley praises her good work, Ramona, feeling brave behind the mask, asks her why Miss Whaley called her a nuisance and a show-off. Miss Whaley explains that it was the situation — not Ramona — that was a nuisance and gently points out that Ramona has tried to show off. The two come to an understanding that helps Ramona feel better about school.

Ramona's father decides that even though finances are tight, they should splurge and go out to dinner. While waiting to be seated, a gentleman asks whether Ramona has been nice to her mother. Ramona finds the stranger's question intrusive and sits down without answering. Later the Quimbys learns that the mysterious gentleman has paid for their dinner because they looked like such a nice family and because he missed his own kids and grandkids. After some discussion about how no family is nice all the time, Ramona decides that she is glad to be part of the Quimby family and that the surprise of a stranger buying their dinner was a happy ending for the day.

Christian Beliefs

Ramona and her family attend church on Sunday. One day when Ramona is feeling sick at school, she asks God to help her not throw up — but her prayer comes too late. When her mother comes to get her in a taxi, she again asks God to help her not throw up while inside the cab.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Ramona's father and mother are presented as the authority figures at home. The first-grade teacher, Miss Whaley, and the school principal, Mr. Wittman, are respected by the children at school.


Ramona and a classmate call each other names, but nothing is profane.



Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

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.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 12




Beverly Cleary






Record Label



HarperTrophy, which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


On Video

Year Published



1982 Newbery Honor Book


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