Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Six decades ago, I picked a book from my school library called Beezus and Ramona. At the time my favorite books were fairy tales, The Betsy, Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace and the Cherry Ames series by Helen Wells. None of these books were about contemporary families like mine. The Betsy, Tacy books took place in the early 1900's, more my grandmother's childhood than mine (I loved those books and so did my daughters). The Cherry Ames books were a series about a young girl starting  nursing school and following  her into various nursing positions. Cherry Ames, Army Nurse was my first real exposure to World War II. All of that was a far cry from Beezus and Ramona. Almost a quarter century later, when my daughters were reading the book, it was just as real. By then, Beverly Cleary had written several more books about Ramona and her family: Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona and her Father and Ramona Forever. In 1999, she wrote her final book about Ramona, Ramona's World.

 Did you know Beverly Cleary was a struggling reader who grew up first to be a librarian and then a writer? You can find out more about her at CNN and NPR. She also has a website, where you can find all the 41 books she has written, learn about the characters and even play games. In Ramona Quimby, Age 8, she wrote about Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) a month long celebration of reading. D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12, Beverly Cleary's birthday.

Beverly Cleary won the Newbery Medal in 1984 for Dear Mr. Henshaw and Honors in 1978 for Ramona and Her Father and in 1982 for Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

The Sonoma County Library has every book written by Beverly Cleary and many as audio-books as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment