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Beverly Cleary – Acclaimed Children’s Book Author

By PDX People

If you remember elementary school, it’s quite possible that you also remember some of the books that you read growing up, and one of Beverly Cleary’s books may have been among your favorites.

Mrs. Cleary is responsible for writing such classics as the Ramona series, Henry Huggins, the Mouse and the Motorcycle books and many, many more.

What most people don’t know is that Beverly Cleary grew up in Portland Oregon, went to school here, and lived a childhood that would provide her with inspiration for the books that she would write over her long and distinguished career.

About Beverly Cleary

Born in McMinnville Oregon in 1916, When she was six years old, her family moved to Portland, Oregon, where she attended elementary and high school.

Beverly actually experienced difficulty with reading early on in life but quickly developed a passion for literature thanks to a librarian in her school who encouraged her to read books that interested her.

By the 6th grade, Beverly was so advanced in her reading and writing skills that her teachers encouraged her to become a children’s writer and she ultimately went to college to do just that, she attended Chaffey Junior College, and ultimately the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with her bachelor of arts in English in 1938.

Writing Career

By 1942 Beverly Cleary started writing her first children’s book, Henry Huggins, and her work quickly received widespread praise since the literary world at the time was not producing many books that were written especially for children.

What also made Beverly Cleary’s books unique was her ability to connect with her young audience, create characters that had a zest for lifem and real feelings about things that many adults often dismiss.

Mrs. Cleary continued writing well into her 90’s and by 2012 her Ramona series was considered to be among the top all-time children’s novels.

Now at the age of 100, Mrs. Cleary’s books have sold more than 91 million copies and even though she’s long since stopped writing, her work continues to be a source of inspiration for children and writers around the world.


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