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Beverly Cleary Turns 102!

The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Claire Traina, Literary Editor

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On April 4, 2018 the beloved author Beverly Cleary turned 102 years old.  In honor of her success as a children’s book author, it was also Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day. Beverly Cleary wrote about characters such as Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse. When Cleary wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, she was a children’s librarian and noticed that many of the boys couldn’t identify with the books they were reading. Ramona’s World, her last book, was published in 1999. Despite this her books continue to sell worldwide in 14 different languages and in 2005 the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend”. 

As young girl Beverly struggled with reading. She grew up on a farm in a town with no library, so she had a hard time embracing books until she was in third grade. Additionally, Beverly wrote so boys would have a greater interest in reading. She thought that if there were books boys could identify with they would enjoy them more. Beverly married her college sweetheart and had two children (twins) named Malcolm and Marianne. Today Cleary jokes about her age saying that “she doesn’t look a day over 80” and likes a simple slice of carrot cake to enjoy her special day. 

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Beverly Cleary Turns 102!