Remembering Beverly Cleary

Earlier today I learned that Beverly Cleary passed away last week at the age of 104.

Tonight I am re-posting something I wrote almost five years ago for her 100th birthday.

There have been a lot of memories today as I think of the many books she wrote.

Beverly Cleary, A Girl from Yamhill, Biography, 100th BirthdayBeverly Cleary is an author that many of us grew up with.

Most of us will remember the six books in the Henry Huggins series that were published from 1950 to 1964.

  1. Henry Huggins
  2. Henry and Beezus
  3. Henry and Ribsy
  4. Henry and the Paper Route
  5. Henry and the Clubhouse
  6. Ribsy

They were all there for me to read while growing up.

The Ramona series came along later and new titles were still being released while I was growing up. The first book of the series was published in 1955 and the last in 1999.

The first book in the Ramona series is Beezus and Ramona and at the time would have just been considered another Henry Huggins book. However, in 1968 Ramona the Pest was published followed by six more titles in the series.

  1. Beezus and Ramona
  2. Ramona the Pest
  3. Ramona the Brave
  4. Ramona and Her Father
  5. Ramona and Her Mother
  6. Ramona Quimby, Age 8
  7. Ramona Forever
  8. Ramona’s World

In my opinion together they are one big series about Henry, Beezus and Ramona, but they are usually separated into two series in book lists.

The books in these two series are my favorites from Beverly Cleary. I loved the way that she developed such great characters who have now entertained several generations of children and adults.

A Girl From Yamhill, Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby, Henry HugginsBeverly Cleary wrote many other books besides the two series mentioned above as well as two memoirs.

A Girl from Yamhill was written in 1988 and My Own Two Feet followed in 1995. I really enjoyed reading both of the memoirs as I learned about the inspiration for many of the stories in her books.

Back in the summer of 2010 I read all the Beverly Cleary books that I could find. I don’t remember the exact trigger for my quest but it began shortly after I joined Goodreads.

I did read almost all the books that she has published. The only exception that I can think of is that I couldn’t find two of the three books that she wrote based on the Leave it to Beaver show back in 1961.Beverly Cleary, First Love Series, The Luckiest GirlI looked on my shelves to see what Beverly Cleary books I had here at home.

I found A Girl from Yamhill, The Luckiest Girl and Sister of the Bride.

The last two are part of the series know as First Love which was written for an older audience than the Henry and Ramona books.

  1. Fifteen
  2. The Luckiest Girl
  3. Jean and Johnny
  4. Sister of the Bride

I think I have some more of her books around, but they must be buried in one of my stacks 🙂

Sister of the Bride, Beverly Cleary, YA BooksCleary wrote several other series. I will list them here just so that I don’t leave out your favorite books.

Ralph the Mouse

  1. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  2. Runaway Ralph
  3. Ralph S. Mouse

Ellen & Otis

  1. Ellen Tebbits
  2. Otis Spofford

Leigh Botts

  1. Dear Mr. Henshaw
  2. Strider

These are not all the titles as she also wrote several stand alone books and books for very young readers.

Beverly Cleary has also received numerous honors for her writing. The most important ones were the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1975, the Newbery Medal in 1984 for Dear Mr. Henshaw  and Newbery Honors for Ramona and Her Father (1978) and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1982).

I am having very good memories tonight as I write this and think about all the wonderful books that Beverly Cleary has written.

What is your favorite Beverly Cleary book?

Steven

 

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