Ramona Quimby is a young elementary school girl who lives with her parents and older sister, Beatrice (called Beezus because Ramona had trouble pronouncing her name when she was little) in Oregon. She has the sort of everyday adventures and problems that many ordinary children have, and she learns to deal with situations that she encounters at her school and in her family with her spunky, imaginative personality. Through the course of the stories, Ramona and her older sister grow up (although Ramona doesn’t get older than elementary school age, and Beezus is still in high school at the end of the series), and they gain a younger sister named Roberta. Along the way, they have sibling rivalries, difficulties with teachers, and changes in their family, like when their father loses his job and has to find another one and when their aunt gets married. Typically, there is more than one major event in Ramona’s life in each of the books because different things are happening with different aspects in Ramona’s life at the same time. For instance, in one book, Ramona encounters problems at school at the same time that she’s trying to be brave about sleeping in a new bedroom all by herself, and in another, her aunt gets married, her pet cat dies, and her mother has a new baby. The stories are humorous, and the problems Ramona encounters are realistic and relatable.

Originally, the Ramona books began as a spin-off series from an earlier series by the same author, Beverly Cleary, about a boy named Henry Huggins. Beezus was a friend of Henry’s and a side character in his series. Beverly Cleary decided to give Beezus a little sister, Ramona, and Ramona became such a strong character that she gained her own series.

The series is considered a modern children’s classic! Two of the books in the series were Newbery Honor Books, and one received the National Book Award. Stories in the series have been made in to a tv series and a movie.

Books in the Series:

Beezus and Ramona (1955)

Beezus narrates this story about the antics of her annoying but lovable little sister. From this point on, the stories are told from Ramona’s point of view.

Ramona the Pest (1968)

Ramona starts kindergarten. Aware of her reputation for being a pest, Ramona tries to become less annoying, but an incident in class when she impulsively pulls a classmate’s hair and is sent home has her convinced that her teacher doesn’t like her.

Ramona the Brave (1975)

Although Ramona likes to think of herself as brave, there are some things that still scare her. The Quimby family adds another bedroom onto their house, so the girls no longer have to share a room, and Ramona discovers that she is afraid to sleep alone. Meanwhile, Ramona starts having problems in her first grade class.

Ramona and Her Father (1977)

Ramona’s father loses his job. Ramona tries to help him with ideas to make money, and she also tries to help him stop smoking.

Ramona and Her Mother (1979)

Ramona gets jealous because her mother and Beezus do things together that she’s still too young to do. She’s also unhappy because she’s too young to be home alone after school and doesn’t like staying with the Kemp family while her parents are working. After her parents have an argument, she and Beezus worry about what would happen to them if their parents decide to get a divorce.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1981)

Ramona starts third grade, makes some new friends, and tries to prove that she’s becoming more responsible.

Ramona Forever (1984)

Things are changing in Ramona’s family. Their Aunt Bea marries the uncle of a friend, their pet cat dies, and Beezus and Ramona get a new baby sister.

Ramona’s World (1999)

Ramona gets a new best friend in fourth grade, and she tries to be a good role model for her little sister Roberta. Meanwhile, Beezus is in high school and starting to get interested in boys.