Cheers to a great author, and the power of reading

Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary turned 90 on Wednesday. Her endearingly real characters have entertained readers since the 1950s.

Cleary’s 39 books, from the “Mouse and the Motorcycle” to the classic “Ramona the Pest” and subsequent Ramona Quimby stories are true classics. They have it all: Pathos, humor and much confusion about the adult world, its weird ways and words. (Try not to love Ramona when her kindergarten teacher tells her to “sit here for the present” and she finally realizes no gift is forthcoming.)

Cleary is a Pacific Northwest gem, living and setting her stories in Portland. She graduated from the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington and was the children’s librarian in Yakima until she married Clarence Cleary.

Wednesday was also designated National D.E.A.R. Day – for Drop Everything and Read, a just-for-fun reading time found in “Ramona Quimby, Age 8.” In the book, this was a daily activity. As we celebrate Cleary and her great work, we think every day should be a D.E.A.R. Day.

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