Customer Reviews: Ramona's World (Ramona Series)
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on October 29, 2000
Beverly Cleary's latest foray into Ramona's world is a welcome addition to her series, but the book isn't quite the joyful reunion one might expect. Ramona doesn't seem the same somehow; she still gets into scrapes, but her new adventures don't come across quite as vividly or seem as catastrophic as her old ones did. Having trouble keeping track of a baby and a cat at the same time could happen to anyone, but only Ramona could dye herself blue in Howie's sink or decide to wear her pajamas to school, as she did in previous books. Maybe Cleary is trying to show that Ramona is growing up a little, or maybe she just had trouble getting back inside her head (it has been a long time since the last book).
The whole feel of the book was a little different, maybe because Cleary modernized the setting a bit or even because the Quimbys seem to have gotten past their financial troubles. The older books were a nice mix of Ramona's escapades and her relationship with her family. There was a real "times may be tough but we'll get through it together" sort of feeling in previous books, and while there is a family component to this one (especially Ramona trying to adjust to her new role as the middle child), this book doesn't deal as much with the Quimbys trying to get along as a family. The issues (except for the financial ones) don't seem to have changed, either. Beezus is still trying to deal with her "good" image and grow up at the same time, and Ramona is still trying to deal with the fact that she's not Beezus.
Unfortunately, the school scenes aren't as well developed as they could be, either. Ramona's rivalry with Susan still comes into play, but there aren't any spectacular owl-crushing incidents. She also has to deal with Yard Ape, but he's almost nice now. Her new friend Daisy is not very memorable, and Howie is largely absent from the book. Ramona has a new teacher to deal with, too, which is always important, but she doesn't compare to the others, either in personality or in her run-ins with Ramona. It's Ramona's world, all right, but maybe not quite the way you remember it.
The same goes for the illustrations. Alan Tiegreen, who did most of the other Ramona books, has illustrated this one as well. These drawings are less detailed than some of the earlier ones, at times almost cartoonish. Still, it's great to have Tiegreen back too, because seeing another artist's image of Ramona would be strange at this point.
Although it's not the best of the bunch, _Ramona's World_ is a must read for Cleary fans, old and young. It's great to see Ramona again.
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on April 4, 2000
This book is wonderful! I was the first one to buy it atTarget. I am 12 years old and could not keep my eyes of it. I read itin 2 days flat! I will add this book to my collection. I will alsogive my collection of B. Cleary books to my kids. these books are a treasure to me. I know it sounds silly but these books like "The Paper Route" were all great books that helped me cope threw life where i'm at. These books are so down to earth. Thats why i like them so much! I recommend these books any day to kids my age and even the librarian. If Beverly Cleary is listening keep up the good work your excellant! i would give more stars or thumbs up but they only let me have 5 stars or thumbs up. It would be imposible for me to say that i have a favorate book by her. I admire here corage to keep righting books. keep righting them Beverly. Please if you agree with this statement then vote for me at the bottom of this paragraph. END
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on April 11, 2001
I own all the ramona books and have read them over and over again since grade school. Before I read ramonas world, I went through and read all the previous books in order starting from beezus and ramona, when ramona is in nursery school, through to ramona forever and then ramona's world. In Ramona's world, it seems as though Cleary has not delved too deep into Ramona's thought process and feelings as she does in other books. Furthermore, there seems to be a huge jump in personalities among all the characters from ramona forever to ramonas world. In certain parts of the book it almost seems as some of the things ramona and daisy feel/think are almost too mature for 9-10 year olds. Beezus is also much more outgoing and quite a bit more snippy towards ramona then she has been in previous books where she is quiet, sensible, and always with her nose in a book. Although Cleary is trying to show how these kids are growing up, Ramona's world is much too sudden a jump. The book does not introduce a gradual transition for Beezus and Ramona in attitudes and maturity. Also Yard ape, who in Ramona age 8 was a gum smacking, ball kicking, getting into trouble type of kid, is now quiet and very smart, and suddenly very nice.
Lastly, another aspect of the book which sets it apart from the others, is that in previous ramona books, Cleary mostly tells the story in the 3rd person perspective, whereas in Ramona's world, it is mostly in the 2nd person perspective which explains why it reads so differently from previous books.
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on November 30, 1999
I had long been waiting for the appearance of another Ramona book and had practically accepted that it would never come. Ramona's world is pretty terrific - it had much humor but somehow I could not really feel for Ramona as in the previous books. It really lacked that empathy factor that is so evident in the other Ramona books! But it is still enjoyable, and a worthwhile read, especially for longtime fans.
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on July 20, 2001
Here I am, almost 30, and reading Ramona again as if she never went away. It was a surprise to see this book on the shelves since I had assumed that Beverly Cleary was retired, and through with Ramona and friends. I was glad to have my assumption proven wrong. The usual cast of characters is back, with new additions as well. Some may not like the fact that Howie has pretty much vanished, but it's very realistic of Cleary to have Howie and Ramona grow apart as they get older. It was also fun to see Susan return to get on Ramona's nerves. Ramona is older now, she's a big sister, so she is no longer the little girl who craved attention and dropped out of kindergarten, but it's nice to see her still having trouble, even though her intentions are good. Once again, Cleary captures childhood very well. Children's literature, and children, have come a long way from the days of Henry Huggins and the children's exclamations of "gee whilikers", but Cleary does show that underneath any of the "corruption" that is purported to be corruptin the youth of the world, children are still children. True, it's hard to believe that Beezus would have worn such an awful outfit to a first boy/girl party (and at the age of 14 no less... her first one...Beezus is 51 years old now, you'd have thought she'd been to one before now!) That aside, this book is well worth the read, and if Cleary ever writes another, I'll be in line waiting for it.
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This may sound blasphemous, but my 8-1/2 y.o. daughter and I both agreed -- this Ramona book is nowhere as good as the previous ones. I've read it 3 times now to try to pinpoint what's lacking, and I guess I can sum it up as depth. Unlike the earlier Ramona books, this one seems simply to relate its often-unrelated vignettes from Ramona's life with few of the glimpses into Ramona's mind that made the earlier books so engrossing. There's no binding thread to the chapters, such as Ramona's father's unemployment. There's no pleasure in watching Ramona grow and mature as she meets the obstacles in her life, just simple narrations of a few incidents.
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on January 26, 2007
I just finished reading this book to my elementary-aged daughters, and we had such a blast! I remember loving the Ramona books as a little girl in the 70s, and I was surprised to see some newer ones out.

As a parent, it's so refreshing to read a book where the humor is clean, and the author sees a need to preserve childhood. So many books today try to corrupt the innocent minds of children.

Each chapter of the book has a clear story arc and can be read as a stand-alone bedtime story. Yet unlike a short story, this children's novel gave us something to look forward to every night at bedtime. We couldn't wait to see what would happen next!

We don't want the series to end and hope Mrs. Cleary will write at least one more Ramona book!
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on June 22, 2012
I read the other books as a kid, and only recently discovered this one after the movie came out. And once again, this book, I felt, rang true to the spirit of Ramona without overdoing the silliness factor or having the drama being overblown. A perfect example being her dislike for Susan Baker (which began in Ramona the Pest and continued with Ramona the Brave) and discovering that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.

I did have two nitpicks with this book:

1)I realize boys and girls (or even childhood friends in general) may drift apart in adolesence, but a couple of scenes with Howie wouldn't have hurt. I mean, he's been there since forever!

2) Another re-occuring theme in the books was how Ramona bemoaned being the youngest in the family, but now that she has a baby sister, there's not much mentioned on how that affects her. At Cleary's age, we're not likely to get another book where Roberta is old enough to be a pest herself (thus completing the circle! LOL), so for me, this was a lost opportunity.

This to be felt like a transition from childhood into the 'tweens, between Ramona finding a new friend in Daisy (her first female friend, as she's been a tomboy her whole life) and her ineviable crush on Yard Ape that's obvious to everyone by her. It's a nice way to cap off a wonderful series of books that have spanned five decades and is accessible to children now as it was in 1955.
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on June 6, 2014
I read all the Ramona books to my kids (6,8,9) and they all loved every minute, every page and all three agreed that my youngest was very much like Ramona. They identified with her well and were sad there were no more books. Good wholesome story telling dealing with a good range of issues in the real world and should not offend most any parent's sensibilities, tho there were a couple of paragraphs that I skipped over that my kids did not need to get any ideas from.
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on October 28, 1999
I thought this book was awesome! Cleary really put humor into it! It was fuuny and thrilling. It really was cool. I hope Mrs. Cleary doesn't stop writing the Ramona books. Also, Daisy and Roberta the new charecters made the book better then the rest! Not that all Ramona books stink! RAMONA RULES!
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