Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All About Everything - Week Of July 2, 2013

This Week's Topic: Beverly Cleary


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is an American writer of more than 30 books for young adults and children. As one of America's most successful authors of children's literature, she has sold 91 million copies of her books worldwide. Some of her best-known characters are Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beatrice ("Beezus") Quimby, her sister Ramona Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse. She won the 1981 National Book Award for Ramona and Her Mother and the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw.
For her lifetime contributions to American literature Cleary has received the National Medal of Arts, recognition as a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the children's librarians.

Works By Beverly Cleary 
(*=one of my favorites)

Henry Huggins, 1950
Ellen Tebbits, 1951
*Henry and Beezus, 1952
Otis Spofford Morrow, 1953
Henry and Ribsy, 1954
*Beezus and Ramona, 1955
Fifteen, 1956
Henry and the Paper Route, 1957
*The Luckiest Girl, 1958
Jean and Johnny, 1959
The Hullabaloo ABC, 1960
The Real Hole, 1960
Beaver and Wally, 1960
Here's Beaver!, 1961
Two Dog Biscuits, 1961
Emily's Runaway Imagination, 1961
Henry and the Clubhouse, 1962
Sister of the Bride, 1963
Ribsy, 1964
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, 1965
The Growing-Up Feet, 1967
Mitch and Amy, 1967
*Ramona the Pest, 1968
Runaway Ralph, 1970
Socks, 1973
*Ramona the Brave, 1975
*Ramona and Her Father, 1977
*Ramona and Her Mother, 1979
*Ramona Quimby, Age 8, 1981
Ralph S. Mouse, 1982
*Dear Mr. Henshaw, 1983
*Ramona Forever, 1984
The Ramona Quimby Diary, 1984
Lucky Chuck, 1984
Janet's Thingamajigs, 1987
*A Girl from Yamhill, 1988
Muggie Maggie, 1990
Strider, 1991
Petey's Bedtime Story, 1993
*My Own Two Feet, 1995
Ramona's World, 1999

* * * * *

Beverly Cleary is one of my heroes. Fun fact: she was born during World War I and she's STILL HERE. (As of this posting, anyway...) Also she's a Newbery Medalist, the top honor only going to one author/book a year. She's gotten the Honor a few times, too.

Growing up, my classmates and I all heard about Beverly Cleary over and over in school and I always just assumed it was because she was a local connection (she was born in my home state of Oregon, then moved to my city, Portland, just in time for first grade).

But as I got older I realized that Beverly Cleary's influence had spread all over, and even Judy Blume, who grew up in New Jersey, was inspired by Beverly Cleary. Granted, New Jersey's not exactly the North Pole, but at least it went to show that Beverly Cleary wasn't only appreciated by the people who could regularly drive by one of the houses she grew up in, but by people all over. People who were awesome.

I highly recommend Beverly Cleary's two autobiography/memoirs: A Girl From Yamhill and My Own Two Feet. She is funny, honest, remembers details, and tells her life story just as if it were one of her novels. I've actually read both of them at least thrice. Check em out. (But do take care to avoid this.)

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