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To the delight of Ramona Quimby readers everywhere, Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary has just made Ramona's world a little bit bigger.
As she starts the fourth grade, Ramona believes that this year will be "the best year of her life, so far." She can show off her calluses from swinging on the rings in the park; the boy she calls Yard Ape sits across the aisle from her; her teacher praises her writing; and she has a new baby sister, Roberta. But best of all, she has a new best friend, Daisy.
Little does Ramona know the challenges her fourth-grade year holds in store. Not only must she improve her rotten spelling, but she must also be a good role model for baby Roberta. And her mother wants her to spend more time with the awful Susan.
Life isn't easy, especially when she is surrounded by perfect spellers and everyone praises her big sister, Beezus, for being responsible. Sometimes Ramona fails, often with hilarious results. But with the support of family and friends, she discovers something reassuring -- that being imperfect can be perfectly fine.
Beverly Cleary is one of America's most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children's books when she grew up.
Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, "Where are the books about kids like us?" she remembered her teacher's encouragement and was inspired to write the books she'd longed to read but couldn't find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!
Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have also been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.