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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!

FREE Chapter Book Library Lists

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Lizzi Robertson

says:

My kids love these books as much as I did when I was little. It’s so fun to experience them through their eyes!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lizzi,
I think one of the joys of parenthood is sharing loved books with our children! 😊

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!

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