April 12 is “Drop Everything and Read day”, and also the birthday of Beverly Cleary, the beloved children’s author who turns 99 years-old today!
This year her birthday coincides with the kick-off of National Library Week. It was Cleary’s own school librarian who took a special interest in her and said that someday she should write for children–the kind of books she longed to read but couldn’t find on library shelves, funny stories about neighborhood kids growing up. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” were born. (Their neighborhood streets of Klickitat and Tillamook actually exist, in the Portland neighborhood where Cleary went to school.) She became a librarian herself, after having earned a B.A. in English at UC Berkeley.
Cleary includes passages about the “Drop Everything and Read” program in Ramona books, having received letters from children who were enthusiastic about experiencing the D.E.A.R. time with their classmates.)
She became a librarian herself, after having earned a B.A. in English at UC Berkeley. Her first book, Henry Huggins was published in 1950. “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no.” She has won numerous literary awards, has written two autobiographies, and now lives in Carmel, California. (You can visit her website at Beverlycleary.com)