This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 27 July 2013

Saturday Rave: Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.

Growing up takes a long time, and Ramona is a girl in a hurry.

Ramona's first day at school reminds me very much of my own first day at Nash Mills C of E Primary School. It's true I didn't pull a girl's hair so I could see her curls bounce back (there were only two other girls in my class (and seventeen boys) and they both had straight hair) but I felt just the same frustration as Ramona at the ridiculous shilly-shallying when it came to the business of the day, which was surely learning to read and write.

Also like Ramona, I had some deeply annoying children in my class - there was a boy called Gary, in particular - but I honestly think Ramona's classmate Howie might even be worse.

Right away Howie said, 'Ramona got benched, and she's the worst rester in the class.'

After all that had happened that morning, Ramona found this too much, 'Why don't you shut up?' she yelled at Howie just before she hit him.

Now, that's what I call a real heroine.

Go Ramona!

Word To Use Today: pest. This word comes from the Latin word pestis, which means plague.

As a matter of interest it has nothing at all to do with the word pester, which comes from the Latin word pastor, which means herdsman.



4 comments:

  1. One of my very top books of all time. Isn't it the one where the teacher says Ramona is to sit on the bench 'for the present'...meaning for the time being and then she's waiting for a gift?? Love Beverley Cleary and hope people are still reading her!

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    1. Eek! I haven't even heard of it. Looks like I've got some catching up to do ...

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  2. I read Ramona the Pest the day before yesterday, so here's one person who's still reading her! When the teacher (also brilliantly written - adored by Ramona, but a human being who makes mistakes)shows Ramona where to sit on the first day, she says 'sit here for the present'. It probably wasn't original when Beverly Cleary wrote it, but it's so naturally and believably done. I think that's part of why it's so funny - she doesn't force the joke, she just explains the incident from the point of view of a five year old, to whom the situation is very serious.

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    1. Yes, that's it exactly: it's funny and serious, and also an unfortunate clash of two completely well-meaning people.

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