RAMONA FACES "TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TOPIC" IN LATEST BOOK
Everyone's favorite little sister, Ramona Quimby, is about to confront a very modern issue in her latest book -- and her publisher couldn’t be happier.
“Ramona ‘the Pest’ Quimby has entertained generations of young readers with her charming adventures,” declared publisher Russell Leaf. “But today’s kids yearn for something a little more edgy than Ramona locking Henry Huggins in his clubhouse or misunderstanding the words of the national anthem.”
That’s why Leaf approached author Beverly Cleary with some ideas for “modernizing” the long-running series. “Mrs. Cleary was very much against having the Quimbys divorce or Ramona getting a tattoo,” reports Leaf, “but one idea did strike her fancy and several months later she sent us the most lovely manuscript -- a story that takes the Quimbys right into the twenty-first century, yet never loses the author’s characteristic warmth and good taste.”
RAMONA THE ANT opens with the now-fifth-grader overhearing a whispered conversation between her parents in which they wonder how Ramona will deal with becoming an “ant.” Misunderstanding, Ramona begins to study the ant-hill in her backyard with a magnifying glass and worriedly asks her science teacher, “Can kids turn into INSECTS?” Then Ramona’s parents sit her down and explain that big sister Beezus is facing an issue that happens “even in the best of families” : she is about to become a teenage mother.
“Ramona’s response is realistic and, by turns, fierce and funny,” states publisher Leaf. “Over the course of several chapters, we see Ramona change from a rather bratty kid who stands over her niece’s crib chanting, “Pie-face Pie-face,” to a caring young woman who comes to dearly love little Henrietta Huggins.”
Because of the sensitive nature of Cleary’s new book, the publisher is offering a free podcast off its website called “How to Share RAMONA THE ANT with your child.”
RAMONA THE ANT hits bookstore shelves today, just in time for April Fool’s Day.