Book Corner 2021.34

Another Ramona re-read for me. Ramona is back in second grade; and her father has lost his job. Ramona faces her usual grade-school trials and tribulations, but this time her troubles are driven mainly by family dynamics. Everyone is short-tempered, and the cat doesn’t like the cheap cat food, so he eats the jack-o-lantern. Beezus fights with the parents, which makes Ramona cry. She’s reassured repeatedly that the family will get another pumpkin to carve, but that’s not the issue. “Didn’t grown-ups think children worried about anything but jack-o-lanterns? Didn’t they know children worried about grown-ups?”

It’s not all down. Ramona and her friend Howie make coffee-can stilts and delight in stomping all over the sidewalk belting out “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” It takes them all through the evening through a rain shower, but they make it from 99 down to 1. Huzzah! I love the young Ramona who delights in noise.

And the final episode, where Ramona participates in the church nativity scene dressed in a home-made ragtag sheep costume, is priceless. Ramona Forever!

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