Tuesday was one of my favorite author’s birthday and I didn’t even know it! I follow PBS on Facebook and it was until this morning that I saw an article stating that Beverly Cleary turned 100 years old!
This woman, even though she has NO idea who I am, is near and dear to my heart. I credit her with helping me fall in love with reading.
Beverly Bunn was born April 12, 1916 in Oregon to Mable and Lloyd Bunn. Beverly lived on a farm with her family in a very rural part of Yamhill until she was about six years old and then moved to Portland.
Though she would become one of the greatest children’s authors, Beverly was not always a fan of reading. in fact, in grade school, she was placed in the lowest reading group–the Blackbirds. As she grew, she started to read more and eventually went to college to earn her degree in library sciences!
Her first job as a librarian was in Yakima, Washington. It was there that a young boy approached her and asked, “Where are the books about kids like us?” This spurred Beverly to pen her first book: Henry Huggins.
This book catapulted Cleary’s career which led to her writing over 40 children’s books! Most of them featuring the titular character of Ramona Quimby.
As a kid, I adored the Ramona books. I always thought Ramona had spunk and wanted to be just like her! I even signed my school papers: Jessica Akers, age 8! (And then 9 when my birthday rolled around).
So happy (belated) birthday, Mrs. Cleary! And thank you for the amazing stories!