Howie's older sister died between Ramona the Pest and Ramona the Brave.
- In Ramona the Pest Howie's mother mentions that his older sister was sick and she was taking her temperature when Willa Jean made a mess. However, it's obvious in the later books that Howie doesn't have an older sister. Maybe she died of her illness and Ramona's sympathy for Howie led to their new friendship. As for why she's not mentioned again, maybe it's too painful to talk or think about.
- Howie's father is never mentioned. It's possible that the older sister was his stepsister, and Howie's mother was his father's second marriage. His parents divorced, and his stepsister is technically no longer his stepsister, or any kind of sister. The sister is mentioned in one of the early books, written back when people were less likely to make distinctions like "step" and "half" in reference to siblings, especially around small children, who were presumed not to understand.
- Howie's father is mentioned. He is Uncle Hobart's best man in Ramona Forever, and if I'm not mistaken, is also mentioned as arriving home for dinner in Ramona and Her Mother.
Grandpa Day is actually Dorothy and Bea's stepfather.
- Their last name was originally Haswell (evidenced by the autograph album incident mentioned in "Ramona and Beezus"). Sometime afterward their father died and their mother remarried a man with a last name of Day. He raised the girls as his own and they took his name.