168

Ramona Chapter Books

Beloved for generations, the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary captures all the complexities of childhood and presents them with warmth, humor, and an unfailing sense of optimism. Ramona chapter books offer widespread appeal as engaging chapter books for young readers or as read-alouds for the entire family.

Who Is Ramona Quimby?

Beezus and Ramona book cover

Ramona Quimby is one of the most memorable characters in children’s literature. She’s an active, energetic, and creative girl who craves a mixture of excitement and stability and struggles with impatience at times. The plots of the Ramona books are timeless, following themes that are perpetually applicable to the lives of children: school, pets, sibling rivalry, and worries, while also promoting the joys of family, friends, holidays, and togetherness.

Ramona is apt to be described as lively, spirited, and irrepressible, but she is also sensitive, kind-hearted, and reflective, especially as the series progresses. Regardless of whatever trouble Ramona encounters along the way, deep down she really just wants her family to be happy. Anything else—her father’s lost job, the family’s financial worries, Ramona’s troubles at school—is just an obstacle in the quest for a happy ending. And the most direct route to the happy ending usually includes a visit to the Whopperburger restaurant for a plateful of fries.

Take our free Ramona checklist to your local library!

About the Author and Series

Beverly Cleary is, without question, one of the most influential children’s authors of the 20th century. Over the course of her career, she has produced over 30 children’s books, including Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse (don’t miss our Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse series reviews!), Dear Mr. Henshaw, Mitch and Amy, Ellen Tebbits, and, of course, the beloved eight-book Ramona series. Over the past seven decades, Beverly Cleary’s books have sold over 90 million copies.

The Ramona books have enjoyed perennial popularity since the first volume was released in the mid-1950s. Cleary’s unique understanding of childhood and her ability to maintain a completely authentic child’s perspective may be why the Ramona books continue to resonate with young readers decade after decade. The final book in the Ramona series was published in 1999, an impressive 45 years after the first title was released. Add in the pair of Newbery Honors that were awarded to Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and it’s easy to see why the Ramona books are something special in children’s literature.

About the Books

Ramona the Pest book cover

Set in the timeless neighborhood of Klickitat Street in Oregon, the eight books follow Ramona Quimby from age four until age nine, from kindergarten through fourth grade. The cast of characters includes jovial and hardworking Mr. Quimby, serene and comforting Mrs. Quimby, sensible older sister Beezus, and an assortment of neighbors and school friends, including dependably boring Howie Kemp and his attention-seeking little sister, Willa Jean. (Ramona’s baby sister Roberta doesn’t make her appearance until Ramona Forever.)

The first book in the series, Beezus and Ramona, is a charming introduction to the Quimby sisters. Ramona, age 4, constantly stirs up mischief (and the ensuing humor makes this volume a great choice for reading aloud), and big sister Beezus is faced with mixed feelings of love for her sister and exasperation over Ramona’s antics.

Ramona starts kindergarten in Ramona the Pest. She quickly discovers the delight of learning to read, the beauty of red rain boots, and the importance of following directions. The youngest readers will empathize with Ramona’s feelings and anxieties; older readers will enjoy the subtle humor when Ramona interprets things too literally.

The eighth book in the series, Ramona Forever, focuses on life changes: the possibility of moving, an aunt’s wedding, the birth of a baby sister, and the death of a pettopics that many children relate to. Ramona discovers that growing up isn’t always easy, but she handles these changes in a positive way as she matures throughout the book.

The Ramona Series at a Glance

Ramona Quimby Age 8 book cover

Author: Beverly Cleary
Genre: children’s fiction, humor
Interests: family life, friendship, childhood mischief, growing up
Suggested age range: age 8 and up
Gender preference: girls and boys
In the series: 8 books, approximately 200 pages each

Other Books in the Series

Ramona Series Library Checklist

Ramona Series Library Checklist download

Do your kids need a little extra encouragement to read? Take our Ramona Series checklist to your local library and have your child check off books as he reads them.

Read this sweet thank-you note, “Thanks for everything, Beverly Cleary,” published in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s 100th birthday (April, 2016).

Looking for more great chapter books? We’ve got you covered!

< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Donald Knight

says:

Thanks for these reviews and booklists!

Tiffany Tracey

says:

I’m happy to see this blog. I remember when my older son used to read about Ramona and loved it. Now that my youngest is in 2nd grade this year, it will be fun to get this books from the library again. Thank you!

Carolyn

says:

I remeber reading these as a child. Great books.

Grace

says:

Thank you for all the information that will help so many children learn to read!

Amy Bryant

says:

I am betting that my 8 year old DD would love this series. I will have to get her some! Thanks for the reviews!

Heather M

says:

I’ve not read a Cleary book since I was a kid. I’ll have to give them a shot with my kids now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
One of the joys of parenthood is sharing the books we loved with our children!

Crystal

says:

I had forgotten about these! I enjoyed them as a child and I bet my daughters would too!

Caroline Landon

says:

These books are such treasures. My kids adore them. Thank you for sharing so the next generation can enjoy them!

Maggie

says:

I bet my daughter would love these! Excited to check them out at the library ;-)

Lisa Eubanks

says:

My daugher and I read the whole Ramona series earlier this year and we both loved it!

Nicole Brown

says:

I loved Ramona when I was younger and even when I was a teacher. I am so excited to start reading these with my little girl.

Rhonda Siem

says:

I loved Ramona! I hope my daughter does too!

Alex Fisher

says:

My 2nd grade daughter may love these. She was enthusiastic about chapter books but has recently shied away from them. Maybe these would help

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alex,
Your daughter might enjoy Ramona, but don’t worry if she wants to stay with picture books for a while yet. You might be surprised to learn that many picture books have fairly high reading levels. For example, Make Way for Ducklings is approximately a 4th-grade reading level. These sorts of books have higher reading levels because they were written for adults to read to young children, but they are excellent reading material for older children to read themselves as well.

Anyway, it is fairly common for children to prefer to stick with picture books for a while even after they are capable of reading chapter books. They do this for various reasons, such as they like the pictures, they like being able to finish an entire book in one sitting, and so on. These books serve to help children become more fluent and have more ease in reading, and they help children to learn to love reading. Children will naturally transition to chapter books; there is no need or even benefit to require them to read chapter books before they want to.

Simah

says:

My daughters would love these books! Going to check them out next time we’re at the library.

Deb B

says:

These stories continue to be timeless, my kind do enjoyed the same copy I treasured as a child.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Aww, that is such a sweet thing, Deb. I love sharing the books I loved as a kid with my own children.

Sally Chancellor

says:

Our kiddos love Ramona, so did I when I was a kid :)

Alice Ross

says:

Another vote for Ramona books! Both of my girls really enjoy them, just as I did growing up. My 11 year old named her favorite doll “Rachel Quimby” because she likes the books so much. I asked why she didn’t name her Ramona, and she said, “Mom, there can only be ONE Ramona.” Haha.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alice,
:D I love her logic. She is so right, there can only be ONE Ramona!

Tara

says:

We just finished Runaway Ralph, sequel to Mouse and the Motorcycle, in one day! My son wouldn’t let me stop reading! I think these would be great for my daughter- I know I read them as a child, but I don’t remember them :). That’s the fun of getting to read them again to my children now- thanks for reminding me about these.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tara,
You’re welcome. I agree, there is so much fun in sharing things from our own childhood’s with our children!

Erica

says:

Love this series!

Cristen Chermak

says:

My girls loved these books and I am excited to share them in my classroom.

Marisela

says:

I love Ramona, I am excited to share this with my child!

Catharine Davis

says:

Love all about learning!

Stephani

says:

One of our very favorites by far!

Sheila

says:

My kids don’t know it but I’ve got all 8 of these in a boxed set for them for Christmas. Love Ramona!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a lovely Christmas gift, Sheila!

Lisa

says:

Thanks for your chapter book recommendations. We love Ramona!

Jennifer M

says:

Beverly Cleary never struck much of a cord with me, but I’ll have to try one of these out as a read-aloud and see what my daughters think. Thanks for the recommendation.

Savannah

says:

Love these~

Julie Patterson

says:

We are currently listening to The Henry Huggins collection, also by Beverly Cleary, for read-aloud. We are enjoying it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendation, Julie!

Wilma Gray

says:

Cannot wait to check if they have these books at the library for my kids to start with! Thank you for a lovely blog article!

I love the Ramona Quimby books! I grew up reading Beverly Cleary.

Becca Hayes

says:

Would love to have this!

Martha Church

says:

I would love to be able to get these books for my granddaughter. She hates to read and is behind in her reading.

Beth

says:

My daughter’s reading has really taken off this year–she reads anything she can get her hands on–Ramona has been one of those books she has not been able to put down!

Jessica B.

says:

i just love Ramona. And I love sharing Ramona with my children.

andrea

says:

I loved Ramona as a child and love her still as I enjoy the books with my children.

Jen Myers

says:

I’m so glad you wrote about Ramona! I read some when I was younger, and forgot all about them. I think my oldest daughter would really enjoy reading these books.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jen!

Dawn

says:

I loved, loved, LOVED these books as a child! I read them multiple times. Then, as a second grade teacher, I read these books to my class every year. I have read one with my children, and I look forward to reading the rest together.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the glowing review, Dawn!

Annie Bleuer

says:

I loved these books when I was a kid and am starting to read them to my girls now!

Heather F

says:

I loved these books as a kid!

Angie

says:

Thank you for this post! I had forgotten completely about these books from my childhood. I am most definitely going to the library in search of these. (Thanks for the library list print out.)

Amanda

says:

We will have to check into these books. My girls just love books!!!

Nancy Ball

says:

Love love love Ramona!!

Lois

says:

My daughter loved these books.

Pauline

says:

Sounds fun! We will have to try this series.

Lisa

says:

I loved all of the Beverly Cleary books as a child, and I have just begun to read them to my young children. She is an amazing writer!

Julie

says:

We used this series last year as read alouds. Very helpful and fun!

Amanda Flick

says:

My daughter just finished plowing through the Amelia Bedelia chapter books. I think we’ll start her on Ramona now, it sounds perfect. Thanks for the library list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
Amelia Bedelia is so much fun!

Thank you for this great booklist! I have been printing all your booklists and keeping them in a folder that I can grab when we are on our way to the library. It’s building up to be quite a resource! And I feel very confident about all of the books listed! Thank you!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a clever idea, Andrea! Thanks for sharing it.

Melissa

says:

I’ve been reading the books about Ralph the mouse to my boys. They love them!

Jamie

says:

Loving using All About Reading with my 7 Year old. No guessing, no worries:)

jane

says:

Always great to have a recommend list of books for my kids to read.

April F

says:

Love these. What a great suggestion.

Tiffany

says:

The Ramona books were favorites of mine growing up!

Lindsay

says:

Loved these books as a kid and they are so fun to read with my own kids.

Olivia

says:

Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle is also fantastic! My boys and I enjoyed listening to the audiobook.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the recommendation, Olivia. My boys completely agree!

Meghan

says:

I remember reading one of the Ramona books when I was little. It was fun.

Sumer Elliott

says:

My girls love these books!

Amanda S.

says:

These were my favorites as a child! I have loved watching my older kids read these and enjoyed discussing some parts with them.

Erin

says:

I read all the Ramona books in elementary school!

Sara C.

says:

I loved these books as a young girl!

Taryn

says:

I loved Beverly Cleary books as a kid and cannot wait for my kids to have the same joy in reading them! Thank you for reminding me about these wonderful books!

Sara S.

says:

Love Ramona! I really need to start reading these to my girls!

Amanda McGowan

says:

I loved these books as a child! Can’t wait to share them with my kids!

Amanda Goodale

says:

These books look really cute and I am excited to read them with and have my little one read them.

Anna

says:

Such a good reminder, I loved these as a kid!

Christy

says:

I loved these books as a kid and can’t wait to introduce them to my children.

Cindy

says:

Thanks for this, we are always looking for well written chapter books!

Beth

says:

We love Beverly Clearly books… my oldest is just at an age where she can read these on her own!

Rachel

says:

I loved these when I was a kid, and now I get to enjoy them with my daughter!

Kristi Daugherty

says:

Thanks for the reminder. I am going to need to get a few of these from the library.

Deirdre

says:

I loved these book when I was a kid! My girls have a few and have read them. Hopefully, they will want read more in the series!

Erin

says:

Loved these books when I was a kid and have it on our reading list with our kids:)

Lauren

says:

I had totally forgotten about these books, but I’m now looking forward to reading them with my little ones! Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
I love that we could remind you of some “oldie, but goodie” books. Enjoy!

Caroline

says:

Our family has been enjoying her books for over a decade… delightful books!

Lisa Eubanks

says:

My daughter adores the Ramona books! We’re currently reading Ramona the Brave.

Debbie B

says:

Thank you for the library checklists! Very helpful!

Hope K

says:

One of my favorite series growing up! I will have to find them on our next library trip

Jenni

says:

I loved Ramona as a child! Thank you for reminding me of this series, so I can add it to our list of read alouds!

Carol H.

says:

I enjoyed reading Ramona as a child.

Samantha F.

says:

Ramona was a favorite series of mine as a child and I can’t wait to share her with my own children!

Gale

says:

I remember the Romana Books. I read many of them as a child!

Anita

says:

We love Ramona books. started reading to my children outloud and keeps both their attention. Also deals with some of the same subjects we are covering in school.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anita,
Don’t you love it when something you are learning about in one place shows up somewhere else? It’s extra wonderful!

Jessica H

says:

We love all the Ramona books! Currently we are using Ramona the pest as our read aloud :)

DeAnna

says:

I remember reading Ramona books when I was a kid… Need to get some for mine… or check them out at our local library ;)

Beth

says:

Great suggestions, thank you!!

katie f

says:

My kids love Ramona. We have the audio books so they can listen whenever they want.

Melissa Culp

says:

Ramona was my favorite as a child! I can’t wait to start reading them with my daughters!

Amy Crain

says:

My daughter will love these!

Aimee Wutka

says:

I love Ramona books. Can’t wait for my kids to read them.

Jill Graham

says:

Thanks for the article! We love Tge Ramona series!

Maritza

says:

My son loves these books!

Natalie

says:

We love Beverly Cleary and the Romona books!!

Maggie

says:

My kids are obsessed with Ramona. We have a couple on audio and they listen to them over and over. My oldest lacks just a little confidence, but could read them if she wanted. I will keep leaving them around the house (and maybe delete the audiobook from the iPad) til she grabs one.

Marcee

says:

Thanks for the suggestion!

Amanda B

says:

I can’t wait to read these with my kids!! I loved these books growing up! ;)

Anne

says:

You encouraged me to check out these books again for the first time in many years!

Doreen

says:

Looks like a good book!

cindy Krenicky

says:

I’m going to have to read this book.

Leigh-Anne

says:

Seems like a good book to read to And with my children!

Kelly

says:

Ramona books were some of my very first chapter books that I read as a child. I can’t wait for my daughter to be able to read them too!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kelly,
I love how books can be shared across generations so happily!

Corinne

says:

Love Ramona!

Kayla

says:

These books definitely sound like something my little girls will like when they get older.

Elizabeth

says:

I loved these books when I was a little almost as much as I enjoyed reading them to my daughter. :)

Jennifer

says:

Very interesting!

Sarah Ter Maat

says:

I read a lot of these books when I was younger, and now my children are starting to read them.

Ashley Clark

says:

Love this series!!!

Christine King

says:

My daughter began her love of books with Ramona and Beezus. Great choice for young readers.

Jen peters

says:

I will be adding these to our reading list !

Aide

says:

My daughter loves books and I’m sure she would like to read the see too!

Anne hatke

says:

I loved Ramona!

Heather Chandler

says:

I Love the checklist. Thanks for all the freebies. We love using AAR & AAS.

Nichole Cline

says:

I think my daughter would love these books.

Stephanie Chambers

says:

We’ve read almost all of Beverly Cleary’s book. I think we are down to 4 left.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wow, Stephanie!

Michelle

says:

I’m going to check these out for my daughter.

Trisha

says:

Always loved these books while growing up!

Micah

says:

️Love Ramona!!

Sarah Mason

says:

I have heard a lot of great stuff about this series. Now I know that I need to check it out, soon! Thanks!

Jamie

says:

One of my favorite series growing up!

Teri P.

says:

My daughters love the Beezus & Ramona books!

Jessica

says:

Love this series

Sandi W

says:

I love these books!!

Cassie

says:

We LOVE Ramona!

Katrina

says:

I love Beverly Cleary!!! I used to have a stack of her books – it was my version of a “summer reading to program” growing up!! I’m so excited my kids are getting old enough to enjoy them as well!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katrina,
To me one of the biggest joys of being a parent is sharing with my children the joy of things I enjoyed as a child. Beverly Cleary’s books are some of those things!

Toni

says:

My boys aren’t big Ramona fans but they love Magic Tree house and Boxcar Kids.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Toni,
Oh, well. Not everyone loves every book. You may try the Henry Huggins series with them, however.

Kellie Duggin

says:

We love classics like these!

Meredith B.

says:

I loved Ramona as a child. We are just getting hooked on series together as a family. Definitely adding this to our list!

Heather

says:

I loved these as a little girl. Having 5 boys that didn’t want to listen to them made me kinda sad :( Maybe I should try again, lol

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, try again, Heather. I have found that my boys have no idea that there is such a thing as “girl” books. One of our family favorites is even called A Little Princess!

Leslie R.

says:

We love Beverly Cleary books- especially the Henry Huggins series!

stargrazer96

says:

Loved these books growing up

Lindsey

says:

We listen to Ramona books in the car on audible. It’s the best way to get through road trips!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsey,
We always do audiobooks on road trips too. In fact, we have a long road trip planned for the Christmas holiday, and my kids are already discussing what book we should listen to!

Angie

says:

My daughter has discovered Ramona recently, it is so fun to read them with her!

jaimie

says:

I loved reading all the Ramona books as a child. I hope my children will enjoy them as well.

Anna Walter

says:

We are big Ramona fans!! My daughter loves these books.

Holly

says:

My daughter loves to read these solo & the whole family loves them as read alouds!

Amy Stutzman

says:

Great books! My son loved them!

Leslie

says:

My oldest daughter (10), rarely chooses chapter books on her own. She has read a few Boxcar Children books here and there and always likes them when she does, but will not read chapter books on a regular basis. This is a bit foreign for me because I loved reading as a child and still do. So, I read aloud or get audio books for car rides when there is a specific chapter book I would like the kids to hear. Maybe I can give these a whirl since we have yet to try them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Leslie,
Assuming your daughter doesn’t struggle with reading, she may just develop the reading bug a bit later. Keep reading aloud and enjoying audiobooks with her, and keep her reading daily even if she doesn’t love it. Maybe she’ll be like my 11 year old who just last month went from reading the bare minimum I assigned daily (20 minutes of reading) to finishing all five novels in the Percy Jackson series in just three weeks! My 13 year old hasn’t yet become a full bookworm, but I am seeing signs of it beginning with him too.

gadgetcc

says:

I also have that problem. My daughter has loved books since she was three, but there are the other things like television and video games. When given the choice between passively watching a movie or reading a book, she often times gets lazy and would just watch a movie. I think that is a lot of the problem with teaching reading today is that kids now can watch or play video games at any time. When I was growing up, you couldn’t just play online video games, there was no social media and we couldn’t watch movies on demand.

My solution, which works great whenever I organize and actively enforce it, is to:
1. Limit the television and video game time. It is DEFINITELY not an easy task, but I noticed when I limit this, she reads more on her own.
2. “Out of sight, out of mind”. Placing the books by her bed or where she can easily find them helps since she can always read when she is having trouble falling asleep or is just bored.
3. Going to the library helps her find books that she finds interesting. We sometimes follow up by buying her favorites.
4. Set up a reading time. She sometimes needs a nudge to start reading a book, but once she starts, she sometimes can’t stop.

My daughter still loves short books because she can read them in one sitting, but there are series of books that she loves such as the Ramona books, Ribsy books or Candy Fairies. I found her in bed, reading them with a flashlight in hand.

Christie

says:

Thank you for putting together this overview and all the other suggested series chapter book overviews. Great reminders of some series worth reading. We’ve been enjoying chapter books for the past few months and have almost finished the series we’ve been reading. I think we will read some of the Henry Huggins ones next!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christie,
There has been lots of mentions of the Henry Huggins books. They must be really good too.

gadgetcc

says:

I read the books when I was a kid, and I remembered them well. Admittedly, it was part of a summer reading program that I had enrolled my daughter in last summer. She read the first book as part of the curriculum, but loved it so much that she asked to read the rest of the series.

Amber Gudnason

says:

My kids already love these books being read to them and enjoy them also as audiobooks (their favourite bedtime routine). My kids are ages 5-8. They also love the series Henry Huggins (by the same author).

gadgetcc

says:

My 9 year old daughter loves the books… she started with Henry Huggins and fell in love with Ribsy but then moved on to the Ramona books. Our library didn’t have all the Beverly Cleary books, so we ordered what we could from all the other libraries in their network. We then got the Ramona and Beezus movie (but the books are still the best). These books made reading fun for her.

We were already planning to get her the book series from Amazon for Christmas. Well worth the money.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Books for Christmas is always a wonderful idea!

Shonda

says:

I never read them until this last year and we actually listened to them on CD. Stockard Channing does an amazing job! I taught Kindergarten for 12 years and so it brought back so many memories. My kids loved it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shonda,
Thanks for the audiobook recommendation!

Rita Stein-Grollman

says:

You have made me wish I was in the early grades again. These books are so timeless and now i want to go out and buy the whole series!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rita,
I agree! I enjoyed these books when I was a girl, and my daughter enjoys them too! It’s wonderful.

Leave a comment