Amy Artisan

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Happy 90th Birthday to Beverly Cleary today!

Drop Everything and Read!

In addition to being her birthday, it is also National D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Day – a celebration of reading inspired by the clever Ramona Quimby.

How many of you read the Ramona books while growing up? They were a favorite of mine. Who can forget Ramona’s signature with the cat formed out of the Q in Quimby? I also remember the fruit fly experiments in the classroom.

I hadn’t thought much about these books in recent years. Recently there was an article in Newsweek about Beverly Cleary and it has me wanting to reread these favorite books from childhood.

What were your favorite Ramona memories?

Update: Listen to an interview with Beverly Cleary on NPR this week, here.


  1. Oh my gosh, I had completely forgotten about the Ramona books!!! The title I remember the most is Beezus and Ramona, but I know I read a bunch of them. I wish I remembered more of the content though.

  2. I adored Ramona Quimby! I haven’t read them in so long though, I’m having trouble coming up with a memory. I remember having Ramona paper dolls though and her awkward knobby knees and elbows always made me laugh.

  3. I read them! I don’t remember much about them though, it’s been so long. I bet I still have the books (boxed up in my parent’s barn somewhere)…I’ll have to have them dug out for Emily & Samantha when they get older.

  4. Ah, those ‘chat and chew’ days in elementary school and all the fun books to read and reread. Take time to reread, they are wonderful.

  5. I love the Ramona books so much! My husband and I named our 1st cat Ramona. (because she was such PEST as a kitten!) One of my (many) favorite things about living in Portland is that it’s where Bevery Cleary grew up and where Ramona and the gang lived. I smile every time I drive on Klickitat St. or Quimby St.

    My favorite Ramona story is when her friends brought hard-boiled eggs to school and would smack them against their heads to crack the shell. Ramona’s mom accidentaly gave her an uncooked egg so she got egg all over her head! I also love the one when she and Beezus are grossed out when they think their mom served them tongue for dinner. Then they have to make dinner all by themselves and they cook chicken with a lot of weird things.

  6. Oh I loved Ramona too! I loved it when she got the “pixie” haircut. And the long pajamas. Oh so many memories. I’d love to re-read those books.

  7. No way Beverly Cleary is 90! I wanted to be Ramona Quimby when I was little. Another Cleary favorite of mine was “Dear Mr. Henshaw.”

  8. Such wonderful memories of Ramona! I loved those books so much. Like Melissa, I also really like _Dear Mr. Henshaw_. Thanks for the chance to share memories, Amy! Great post 😉

  9. I loved when Ramona went into the basement and ate the first bite out of every apple, because that’s always the bite that tastes the best. I think her mom ended up making applesauce out of her leftovers…and I remember how she had to walk to school with that little girl who called it “kid-nergarten.”

  10. PS: Don’t forget; Ramona initially thought DEAR stood for Drop Everything And Run! 🙂 When I was little, I got Beverly Cleary’s autobiography “A Girl From Yamhill.” It was really good, if you’re interested in learning more about her.

  11. I don’t remember the Ramona books growing up – I’m taking a guess that I may be too old! shhhhhhh ;). I do, however, remember my children reading them and loving them all :)!

  12. I read so many of Beverly Cleary’s books. My sons have a read a few of them. I am a little fuzzy in the memory area of Ramona, but wasn’t there a girl that sat in front of her with curly hair? She would see those curls and pull on them and say “boing” and almost always get a talking to. I think I remember that. I know those books made me laugh! Good fuzzy memories!

  13. Thanks for making me remember. Gosh–do kids even read those books anymore. They were great!

  14. Oh, Ramona books!! I LOVED Beverly Cleary books so much when I was growing up. My favorite was Beezus and Ramona; I was the eldest of 4 kids, so I really related to Beezus. 😉 I still remember that scene where Ramona takes one bite out of each apple in a crate because the first bite always tastes the best. Another favorite memory was when Beezus wound up in a painting class and was told that she had more imagination than Ramona for painting a picture of a dragon with a lollipop spine. Thanks for bringing back such fond memories! Take care, Amy! 🙂

  15. Oh my gosh! I’d totally forgotten about those books! Ramona was my absolute favorite! I would giggle and giggle while reading them! Makes me want to go out and read them again as well…

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