The Book Of Jezebel: Q Is For Quimby, Ramona

Illustration for article titled The Book Of Jezebel: Q Is For Quimby, Ramona

As you may have heard, in just one week (!!!), we'll be publishing our first book, a 300-page, hardcover, illustrated encyclopedia called The Book of Jezebel. In honor of this milestone —which took many years and dozens of contributors to execute—we'll be posting one entry from the book a day, starting with "A" and continuing on through to "Z." Although the book itself has already been printed — it's gorgeous — questions, additions, annotations and suggestions on the entries that appear online are welcomed and encouraged.


Quimby, Ramona

Title character of Beverly Cleary's beloved children's book series. Ramona, star of books like Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona the Pest, and Ramona the Brave, is the younger of two sisters, though in later books her parents add a third daughter to the mix. Ramona is a plucky and talkative kid, prone to missteps and embarrassment: once, at school, she tried to crack a hard-boiled egg on her head, but the egg wasn't hard-boiled, and she literally ended up with egg on her face. Ramona also has an active imagination, which some people, namely her teachers and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus") find annoying. The Ramona books also tackle tough issues like unemployment and economic insecurity—in Ramona and Her Father, Mr. Quimby loses his job—and the sometimes fraught relationships between sisters, in a way that makes sense to kids who are themselves Ramona's age. The first Ramona book was written in 1955 and the most recent one in 1999, suggesting that Americans will never tire of this lovable, short-haired little weirdo.



I loved that Ramona's family wasn't rich but they weren't like the boxcar children either. In a childhood where I could read about Stuart Little or the Wakefield Twins, it was nice to read about a family like mine (financially, at least). My mom worked, my dad worked and neither of their jobs paid a lot. Getting a salon haircut was a big deal, going out to eat was a big deal. I remember the part where the mom doesn't plug in the crock pot and they have no dinner and there's a big fight so instead they go out to get burgers and it was a huge thing. All of the situations were so familiar in a comfortable way.