The Ramona Quimby
books will take you wayyy back. I'm talking, back to kindergarten if you start with the earliest in the series! (I am not including Beezus and Ramona
, in which Beezus is the main character rather than Ramona) At the very least, back to fourth grade.
Basically, each book is a few months in the life of a somewhat eccentric Genki Girl
and occasional Woobie
, Ramona Quimby. Within each book, each chapter is essentially an episode in Ramona's life, generally a Slice Of Life
event, usually fun and light-hearted.
And just like with TV shows, these "episodes" of Ramona's life tend to be hit or miss.
Some are really fun, like the one in which Ramona tries to comes up with valentines for the whole class, and to create a special "I love you but maybe not" one for her friend/rival Yard Ape, as the two mutually have secret crushes on each other. Or the one in which Ramona and new friend Daisy write a letter to an insurance company, insulting the poor grammar used in their advertisement and accusing them of doing harm to "kids who are learning how to spell", and sign it with their names and ages, only to receive a reply from the company admitting their faults!
Others are more blah. I don't want to read an entire chapter about Ramona and Beezus having to cook food on their own as punishment for a big argument, or a chapter about a wedding, even if mildly humorous events occur in both.
Another thing is that the books in which Ramona is younger tend to have more funny and eccentric moments. Kindergarten Ramona snores loudly to prove to her teacher that she's sleeping during nap time, sticks her tongue out in response to "what's the matter, Ramona? Cat got your tongue?", and misspells her name "RANOMA" when learning how to write. Third grade Ramona is more mature and doesn't do as many silly things. But even with the wide differences of age that occur throughout the series, some constants remain: Ramona wants to be taken seriously by adults (this manifests itself in the form of the occasional tantrum when she's little), Ramona makes mistakes when trying to do the right thing, and Ramona has embarrassing things happen to her.
Overall, it's a very fun trip back through childhood when seen through adult (or teen) eyes, and really worth checking out.