Last Thursday, Beverly Cleary, acclaimed author of numerous children’s books, died at the age of 104(!). When I was really little, before I could read well ((like five or six) my parents would read me several chapters from her books each night before I fell asleep.
I remember reading about Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and of course Ralph Mouse. But Ramona Quimby had (and has) a special place in my heart. I simultaneously wanted to be her and felt like I was her. She was the first literary character that I remember really relating to. I felt like she was my friend.
Beverly Cleary obviously lived a long life. Her books touched many readers in some way, and they certainly played a big part in turning me into a reader. She will be missed. I am grateful to her for all the literary friends and adventures.