Beverly's Books Keep Going
Although her birthday was last week, one can't justly recognize Beverly Cleary with a single day. So, let's take another look and remember that at the age of 90 one can still understand the heart of a child. (Click here to see a list of Cleary's books by Internet Book List or here by Library Think Quest.)
She wrote her first book in 1950 and has covered a number of humorous topics for children. And, her last book was written just seven years ago. After having started her "first" career as a Children's Librarian (awesome), she went on to produce a number of award-winning books. Not many authors can continually be found on library shelves and survive the ever-changing taste of children. Most of Cleary's writings have been elementary age chapter books, but she has also written a few emerging young adult books and picture books.
Many of us came to know Cleary through her many humorous characters like Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, Ellen Tebbits, Ramona Quimby, Socks, etc. How I managed to miss her in all my readings as a young kid, I will never know, but discovering her as an adult has its perks too. The nice thing about her books is you can still get them at the library, bookstore, or just about anywhere. I recently picked up a few of the "classics" at a secondhandprose sell and found my husband's favorite Runaway Ralph.
Some articles and interviews worth looking at include:
1. The Author Profile by Jim Trelease is definitely one to read.
2. Last week's NPR interview with Beverly Cleary.
3. Check out Kidsreads.com's author bio on Cleary.
4. Irene Sege at the Boston Globe has a pleasant write up.
5. Tracy Grant over at the Washington Post explains well why kids still like Cleary's books.
6. Janie Magruder at The Arizona Republic provides a "Readers Tribute" to Cleary.