Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary
Ramona is starting first grade and she feels she’s growing up. Everyone expects her to grow up right away, or she feels that way, but it isn’t as easy as they think. Ramona is trying to grow up, but there are still plenty of things she has to work on. She’s scared to stay in her new room. She’s not sure about her first-grade teacher. She doesn’t want to get up in the class and apologize to another student.
At one point, Ramona encounters a big dog, that growls at her. She drops her lunch box and decides to throw her shoe at the dog, but the dog takes her shoe. Luckily, Ramona is able to get her lunchbox. She goes to school with one shoe, and it just so happens that it’s the day she finally leads the Pledge of Allegiance. When the story comes out, people do not think Ramona is scared, they think she is brave, because she faced down a big dog.
As it turns out, Ramona is getting braver at some things, even though they still scare her.
What I liked
Who could get into these kinds of adventures besides Ramona? She’s quirky and just rolls with everything that happens, even if she might be scared.
What I didn’t like
Ramona’s story is really nothing like the lives kids have these days. Ramona is still fun and funky, but I don’t know of any kid who would be allowed as much freedom as Ramona has. This is something I don’t like because I just don’t feel Ramona’s stories are as relatable to children these days as they used to be.
What’s Ramona going to get into next?
Would you throw your shoe at a big dog?
Was there a teacher you didn’t particularly mesh with in school?