Ramona the Pest, by Beverly Cleary, is the second book of the Ramona series and the first to focus on Ramona Quimby as the protagonist. This children's book chronicles the adventures of Ramona's first few months at kindergarten. The book's title is derived from the characterization of Ramona as a "pest" by many, including her older sister Beatrice, known as "Beezus." Ramona the Pest was first published in 1968 and featured illustrations by Louis Darling.
Ramona Quimby is excited because she is starting kindergarten. She is a year older than in Beezus and Ramona and trouble still seems to follow her. Although Ramona does not mean to be a pest, she still manages to create trouble without trying to. Miss Binney is her teacher, and Ramona likes her a lot, especially when she praises Ramona's interesting drawing and nice fat letter 'Q's. There's a girl in her class named Susan with long, springy curls. Ramona really wants to pull on one of those curls and watch it bounce back and forth, but when she finally does she gets sent to the bench until recess is over. Another new person in her class is Davy. Ramona chases him at recess, trying to catch and kiss him, which she finally manages to accomplish when she participates in the Halloween parade when she is "the baddest witch in the world."
Ramona tries to do her best in kindergarten but it isn't easy, especially during seat work, when she has to sit quietly and keep her eyes on her own work. She's just too interested in seeing what everyone else is doing. Still, kindergarten is going well until the day the substitute teacher arrives. Ramona won't go to class without Miss Binney, so she hides behind the trash cans with Ribsy the dog. When Beezus finds her and takes her to the principal's office Ramona is forced to go to class anyway.
Then one day, Susan calls Ramona a "pest", Ramona retaliates by pulling Susan's curls, and Miss Binney sends her home until she can behave. Ramona decides that Miss Binney doesn't like her any more, and she refuses to go back. Nothing anyone says to her can change her mind until she gets a letter from Miss Binney returning the tooth she lost at school the day she was suspended and Ramona decides Miss Binney must like her and is happy to return to kindergarten.