Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

How I Heard About It:  I read Dumplin awhile back and really enjoyed it.  While at NCTE17 I walked by a long line of reading "fans" to get a book signed by Julie Murphy.  I've had Ramona Blue on my TBR list for quite some time.  Recently I put it on my Cloud Library app.  It has been my audio read during the last week or so.  This story made my 35-45 minute drive fly by because it was so so good.  

What It Is About:  Ramona lives in a small town.  She doesn't have much.  She lives with her father, her older sister, and the boyfriend of her sister.  There really isn't room for the four of them being it is a trailer, but they make it work.  During the summer before Ramona's senior year, she has a summer "thing" with a girl named Grace.  At the end of the summer Grace must return home and that brings the relationship to an end.  Ramona begins to spend more and more time with her friend Freddy.  They have grown up together and are "buddies".  But the more time they spend together, the more they realize something might be happening.  Not only is Ramona confused by this, but Freddy is also because he knows that Ramona has come out and considers herself gay.  When each of them has a difficult end to their other relationships, they decide to give their own relationship a try.  Ramona's life is not only complicated by this event, but also by the fact her sister is pregnant, her absent mother drinks too much, and it is time to decide what to do with her future coming up after graduation.  

What I Thought Of It:  As I mentioned earlier, this story brought me several times of complete enjoyment during my drive to and from work.  I thought the narrator did a fantastic job of telling Ramona's story.  I feel in love with Ramona more and more as the story unfolded.  I thought the way Julie Murphy told the story was thoughtful, respectful, and truthful.  There were quite a few serious moments, but also great humorous scenes where I found myself laughing out loud.  The true power of the story came from the relationships that Ramona had with both her family and friends.  Julie Murphy sure can write a strong, entertaining, and profound young-adult story.  

Who Should Read It:   This is the PERFECT novel for both the high-school and college reader.  There are so many elements that the reader will be able to relate to.  Of course, if you are an adult reader who enjoys young-adult novels, then this is the book for you.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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