In just ten days, Ramona and Beezus will debut on the silver screen. As a kid, I loved reading Beverly Cleary's Ramona books. I appreciated Ramona's good intentions and thought Beezus might be a little exasperating (a word I learned the first time I read Beezus and Ramona) herself. And, I was not alone. Although Ramona began in the 1950s as a spin-off character from Cleary's Henry Huggins stories, the rambunctious character became a world-wide sensation and won Cleary many awards and honors.
If you're trying to build enthusiasm before reading the Ramona books or extend learning after finishing one of the stories, check out the Host a Ramona Quimby Party link at BeverlyCleary.com. The kit is jammed full of activities including a crossword puzzle, a quiz, and a Ramona door hanger.When you're ready to dive into the first story, don't even worry about leaving home. Harper Collins has the entire Beezus and Ramona book available online for free, complete with illustrations.
Find out how well you know Ramona Quimby with the Ramona & Friends Trivia Challenge at BeverlyCleary.com. Then explore Ramona's neighborhood with the interactive map, also on Cleary's site.
After exploring Cleary's site, play Reach for the Stars on the Ramona and Beezus movie site.
After all that fun, tie in a bit of art and geography by telling students about the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children in Portland, Oregon's Grant Park. Cleary used many real Oregon locations in her many children's books, and so the park added several sculptures of Cleary characters in 1995, including a bronze statue of Ramona.
Images from BeverlyCleary.com, RamonaandBeezus.com, and Multnomah County Library.