We are full on in love with Ramona Quimby around here. A few years ago, I read all the Ramona books with Caroline and now I’m lucky to be able to read them all over again with Katherine.
Because I am now reading these books for at least the third time, counting my own reading as a child, I am noticing all sorts of new things.
My latest discovery is Ramona’s perspective on multiple choice testing. Or at least that is how I am choosing to interpret the following passage.
One day the reading workbook showed a picture of a chair with a wrinkled slipcover. Beneath the picture were two sentences. “This is for Pal (the family dog).” “This is not for Pal.” Ramona circled “This is for Pal,” because she decided Tom and Becky’s mother had put a slipcover on the chair so that Pal could lie on it without getting the chair dirty. Mrs. Griggs came along and put a big red check mark over her answer. “Read every word, Ramona,” she said which Ramona thought was unfair. She had read every word.
If you ask me, this sums up a lot of what goes on in classrooms around the country now and also apparently in 1975 when Ramona the Brave was first published. If Ramona had been given a chance to explain her answer, perhaps Mrs. Griggs would have complimented her on thinking through the issue in a creative way. Perhaps she would have called her Ramona the Wise. Instead Ramona left school that day feeling discouraged. What a shame for such a wise girl to feel that way…