Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary
Ramona’s world is once again changing. She’s older now. Things are still kind of tight at home, but things are moving on. Howie’s rich uncle is coming to visit. Ramona doesn’t like him, nor does Beezus. Ramona begs to stay home instead of going to Mrs. Kemp’s house after school. The parents decide that Ramona and Beezus are responsible enough on their own to stay home.
Beezus tells Ramona that she thinks their mom is going to have a baby. They keep a careful eye and one day their father tells them not to do anything that would upset their mother, so the two believe their suspicions are confirmed. One day the two girls come home from school to find Picky-picky, the family cat, dead. They know this will upset their mother, so they prepare a coffin for Picky-picky, they dig a grave in the backyard, they hold a funeral, and they bury him, all on their own. They try to make out like everything is ok when their parents come home, but Beezus has blisters on her hands from digging the grave.
Finally, it comes out that their mother is pregnant. They’re expecting a baby and another surprise is also on the way. Their aunt Beatrice is getting married to Howie’s uncle of all people. A quick wedding is planned, in which Ramona saves the day, and soon the family welcomes a new family member.
What I liked
Ramona is growing up. She’s learning to take on more adult tasks. She and her sister learn to mind themselves, but they also learn about some harsh things in life. Cats die. Sometimes people they love marry people they don’t necessarily like. This is life. You have to love people despite the choices they make and you have to go on with life, even if the cat dies. You just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
What I didn’t like
I find it awfully sad that Ramona’s family never seems to get ahead in life, but that is an accurate depiction of life. Sometimes we seem to climb one hill after another and never seem to get anywhere. It’s life. It happens.
Ramona is turning into a fine young lady.
Do you think dealing with Picky-picky’s death will help Ramona and Beezus come to terms with the idea of death in the future?
How will Ramona and Beezus have to grow up with the new baby?