My First “Favorite Author”

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.

7 thoughts on “My First “Favorite Author”

  1. This is a beautiful tribute. I think the Ralph S. Mouse books were my favorites of hers, though I did read most of the Ramona books and at least a few of the Henry Huggins ones. I always connected more with Beezus than Ramona, but I still loved the books.

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  2. Oh, I didn’t know Beverly Cleary had passed! I loved her books too. When I was a kid and read them, I felt like they were describing my life. Re-reading them as an adult, they are closer to a description of the childhood of my parents. But the internal description of childhood is so spot-on that they remain relatable.

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    • I’ve actually read Ramona Quimby Age 8 and The Mouse and the Motorcycle with students in recent-ish years. I think for the most part the kids related to them because of those internal descriptions. Anything dated I was able to quickly explain as being the way things were when the book was written.

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