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Beverly Cleary 2021 Children39;s book author dies at 104

Beverly Cleary 2021 Children39;s book author  dies at 104
beverly cleary books, Ramona Quimby

Beverly Cleary 2021 Children39;s book author dies at 104

Beverly Cleary Beverly Cleary at 104 Children's dies book author

Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Beloved children's author Beverly Cleary, whose characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins enthralled generations of youngsters, has died

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She was 104

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ConchoValleyHomepage.com

by: Tiffany Hudson, Michael Geheren

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary, whose characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins enthralled generations of youngsters, has died.

She was 104.

She died in her home in Carmel, California according to her publisher HarperCollins.

The acclaimed author sold over 91 million copies of her books and received several awards, including being named a “living legend” by the Library of Congress in 2000.

She also received a national medal of National Endowment for the Arts in 2003.

“We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time.

Looking back, she’d often say, ‘I’ve had a lucky life,’ and generations of children count themselves lucky too—lucky to have the very real characters Beverly Cleary created, including Henry Huggins, Ramona and Beezus Quimby, and Ralph S.

Mouse, as true friends who helped shape their growing-up years.

We at HarperCollins also feel extremely lucky to have worked with Beverly Cleary and to have enjoyed her sparkling wit.  Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood.”

Children worldwide came to love the adventures of Huggins and neighbors Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby and her younger sister, Ramona.

They inhabit a down-home, wholesome setting on Klickitat Street — a real street in Portland, Oregon, the city where Cleary spent much of her youth.

Trained as a librarian, Cleary didn’t start writing books until her early 30s.

Her first novel was 1950s “Henry Huggins,” based on the children she grew up with in Portland, Oregon.

Cleary wrote more than 30 books, which sold millions of copies.

Among the “Henry” titles were “Henry and Ribsy,” “Henry and the Paper Route” and “Henry and Beezus.”

Ramona, perhaps her best-known character, made her debut in “Henry Huggins” with only a brief mention.

“All the children appeared to be only children so I tossed in a little sister and she didn’t go away.

She kept appearing in every book,” she said in a March 2016 telephone interview from her California home.

Cleary herself was an only child and said the character wasn’t a mirror.

“I was a well-behaved little girl, not that I wanted to be,” she said.

“At the age of Ramona, in those days, children played outside.

We played hopscotch and jump rope and I loved them and always had scraped knees.”

In all, there were eight books on Ramona between “Beezus and Ramona” in 1955 and “Ramona’s World” in 1999.

Others included “Ramona the Pest” and “Ramona and Her Father.” In 1981, “Ramona and Her Mother” won the National Book Award.

Cleary was born Beverly Bunn on April 12, 1916, in McMinnville, Oregon, and lived on a farm in Yamhill until her family moved to Portland when she was school-age.

She was a slow reader, which she blamed on illness and a mean-spirited first-grade teacher who disciplined her by snapping a steel-tipped pointer across the back of her hands.

Her mother set up a library for the small town in a lodge room upstairs over a bank, NewsNation affiliate KOIN-TV reported.

“I had chicken pox, smallpox and tonsillitis in the first grade and nobody seemed to think that had anything to do with my reading trouble,” Cleary told the AP.

“I just got mad and rebellious.”

By sixth or seventh grade, “I decided that I was going to write children’s stories,” she said.

Cleary graduated from junior college in Ontario, California, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she met her husband, Clarence.

They married in 1940; Clarence Cleary died in 2004.

They were the parents of twins, a boy and a girl born in 1955 who inspired her book “Mitch and Amy.”

Cleary studied library science at the University of Washington and worked as the children’s librarian at Yakima, Wash., and post librarian at the Oakland Army Hospital during World War II.

Cleary, a self-described “fuddy-duddy,” said there was a simple reason she began writing children’s books.

“As a librarian, children were always asking for books about `kids like us.′ Well, there weren’t any books about kids like them.

So when I sat down to write, I found myself writing about the sort of children I had grown up with,” Cleary said in a 1993 Associated Press interview.

“Dear Mr.

Henshaw,” the touching story of a lonely boy who corresponds with a children’s book author, won the 1984 John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

It “came about because two different boys from different parts of the country asked me to write a book about a boy whose parents were divorced,” she told National Public Radio as she neared her 90th birthday.

“Ramona and Her Father” in 1978 and “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” in 1982 were named Newbery Honor Books.

Cleary ventured into fantasy with “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” and the sequels “Runaway Ralph” and “Ralph S.

Mouse.” “Socks,” about a cat’s struggle for acceptance when his owners have a baby, is told from the point of view of the pet himself.

She produced two volumes of autobiography for young readers, “A Girl from Yamhill,” on her childhood, and “My Own Two Feet,” which tells the story of her college and young adult years up to the time of her first book.

“I seem to have grown up with an unusual memory.

People are astonished at the things I remember.

I think it comes from living in isolation on a farm the first six years of my life where my main activity was observing,” Cleary said.

Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and inspired Japanese, Danish and Swedish television programs based on the Henry Huggins series.

A 10-part PBS series, “Ramona,” starred Canadian actress Sarah Polley.

The 2010 film “Ramona and Beezus” featured actresses Joey King and Selena Gomez.

When children asked Mrs.

Cleary where she got her ideas, she would reply,

“From my own experience and from the world around me.” 

Donations may be made in Beverly Cleary’s name to the Library Foundation of Portland, Oregon, or the Information School at the University of Washington, according to HarperCollins.

The Associated Press and KOIN-TV contributed to this report.

Download the free NewsNation Now app to receive updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc.

All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Sharon Osbourne is leaving the CBS daytime show “The Talk” after a discussion about racism went off the rails earlier in March.

“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” ViacomCBS said in a statement.

“As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.”

ATLANTA (AP) — The sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s election rules represents the first big set of changes since former President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims of fraud following his presidential loss to Joe Biden.

Georgia has been at the center of that storm.

Trump zeroed in on his loss in the state, even as two Democrats won election to the U.S.

Senate in January, flipping control of the chamber to their party.

The 98-page measure that was signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov.

Brian Kemp makes numerous changes to how elections will be administered, including a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail.

PALMDALE, Calif.

(KTLA) – A Black family has filed a claim against a Southern California school district, alleging a teacher went on a racist rant about them on Zoom earlier this year, apparently not knowing they were still listening.

Katura Stokes filed the claim, a precursor to filing a lawsuit, on behalf of her 12-year-old son, an unnamed sixth grader at Desert Willow Fine Arts, Science and Technology Magnet Academy.

The school is part of the Palmdale School District.

Palmdale is about 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

Click here for the current status of our Concho Valley reservoirs.

Updated regularly.

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Beverly Cleary Beverly Cleary

Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:00:00 -0700

Children's author Beverly Cleary died Thursday in Carmel, Calif

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, her publisher HarperCollins said

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She was 104 years old

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Cleary was the creator of

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Children’s author Beverly Cleary died Thursday in Carmel, Calif., her publisher HarperCollins said.

She was 104 years old.

Cleary was the creator of some of the most authentic characters in children’s literature — Henry Huggins, Ralph S.

Mouse and the irascible Ramona Quimby.

Generations of readers tore around the playground, learned to write in cursive, rebelled against tuna fish sandwiches and acquired all the glorious scrapes and bruises of childhood right along with Ramona.

Cleary’s simple idea — to write about the kids in her own neighborhood — ensured that her books have never gone out of print.

“I think children want to read about normal, everyday kids.

That’s what I wanted to read about when I was growing up,” Cleary told NPR’s Linda Wertheimer in 1999.

“I wanted to read about the sort of boys and girls that I knew in my neighborhood and in my school.

And in my childhood, many years ago, children’s books seemed to be about English children, or pioneer children.

And that wasn’t what I wanted to read.

And I think children like to find themselves in books.”

Her writing style — clear, direct, uncomplicated — mirrored the author’s own trajectory.

Cleary was still a young girl when she decided to become a children’s book author.

By the 1940s she’d become a children’s librarian in Portland, Ore., and she remembered boys in particular would ask her: “Where are the books about kids like us?”

There weren’t any, so she sat down and wrote Henry Huggins, her first book about a regular little boy on Klickitat Street in Portland.

Henry Huggins was a hit upon first printing, but her readers wanted to hear more about the little girl who lived just up the street.

Ramona Quimby, the most famous of all of Cleary’s characters, was unforgettable.

Mischievous, spunky and a hater of spelling, Ramona would be the first to tell you she’s not a pest — no matter what anyone (especially her older sister Beezus) says.

In the opening chapter of Ramona the Pest, Ramona responds to her big sister:

“I’m not acting like a pest, I’m singing and skipping,” said Ramona, who had only recently learned to skip with both feet.

Ramona did not think she was a pest.

No matter what others said, she never thought she was a pest.

People who called her a pest were always bigger, so they could be unfair.

Cleary’s memories were cinematically detailed.

In her autobiography, A Girl From Yamhill, she wrote about clamping around on tin can stilts and yelling “pieface!” at the neighbor.

She was an only child, who grew up in Portland during the Depression and still remembered when her father lost his job.

“I was embarrassed,” she recalled.

“I didn’t know how to talk to my father.

I know he felt so terrible at that time that I just — I guess I felt equally terrible.

And I think adults sometimes don’t think about how children are feeling about the adult problems.”

Cleary used her crystal-clear recall to capture the tribulations of young children exquisitely in her books.

“I’m just lucky.

I do have very clear memories of childhood,” Cleary said.

“I find that many people don’t, but I’m just very fortunate.”

Barbara Lalicki, who edited the 1999 Ramona book, Ramona’s World, said Cleary steered the field of children’s writing away from fantasy and historical fiction.

She was a “pioneer,” Lalicki said, in this “rooted-in-reality kind of book for children.”

Cleary’s books racked up awards and were constantly reprinted and re-illustrated.

Librarians kept shelves devoted entirely to Cleary’s books, and teachers read the books aloud to their students.

For about 30 years — despite objections from publishers who wanted her focus on writing more books — Cleary answered all of her fan mail herself.

“I learned a lot from children’s letters,” Cleary said.

“Dear Mr.

Henshaw came about because two different boys from different parts of the country asked me to write a book about a boy whose parents were divorced.

And so I wrote Dear Mr.

Henshaw, and it won the Newbery.”

Longtime children’s librarian Nancy Pearl remembers hearing “a wonderful, possibly apocryphal story” about Cleary going to speak to a class of second- or third-graders: “This little boy kept raising his hand, he had so much to ask her, and he said to her, ‘Mrs.

Cleary, I understand how you write your books.

But where do you get your paper?’ …

I think that’s how involved kids get in those books.”

Even with all the modern-day distractions — video games, music, movies and more — Cleary believed kids would keep on reading.

“I don’t think anything takes the place of reading,” Cleary said in 2006.

In one letter, a little girl said that reading in her room by herself was “like having a little television set in your head.”

Decades after they were written, Cleary’s books still ring true for children.

“I think deep down inside children are all the same,” she said.

“They want two loving parents and they would prefer a house with a neighborhood they can play in.

They want teachers that they can like.

I don’t think children have changed that much.

It’s the world that has changed.”

And Beverly Cleary, with her honest, straight-talking heroes and heroines, certainly changed it for the better.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The children’s author Beverly Cleary died yesterday in Carmel, Calif.

She was 104 years old.

Beverly Cleary created some of the most authentic characters in children’s literature – Henry Huggins, Ralph S.

Mouse and, of course, the feisty, unforgettable Ramona Quimby.

Through Ramona, generations of readers tore around the playground, learning to write in cursive, rebelled against tuna fish sandwiches and acquired all the glorious scrapes and bruises (inaudible).

For NPR, Zoe Chace has this remembrance of the woman who brought Ramona Quimby to life.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Beverly Cleary’s simple idea – to write about the kids in her own neighborhood – ensured that her books have never gone out of print.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BEVERLY CLEARY: I think children want to read about normal, everyday kids.

That’s what I wanted to read about when I was growing up.

I wanted to read about the sort of boys and girls that I knew in my neighborhood and in my school.

CHACE: Her writing style – clear, direct, uncomplicated – was just like the author’s own trajectory.

She told NPR that she decided to become a children’s book author in fifth or sixth grade.

By the time she was a Portland, Ore., children’s librarian in 1940…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CLEARY: Boys particularly ask, where were the books about kids like us? And there weren’t any at that time.

CHACE: So she sat down and wrote “Henry Huggins,” her first book about a regular little boy on Klickitat Street in Portland.

“Henry Huggins” was a hit upon first printing, but her readers wanted to hear more about the little girl who lived just up the street.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “RAMONA AND BEEZUS”)

JOHN CORBETT: (As Robert Quimby) Ramona is a bright young student – that’s my girl – but lacks focus, often daydreams, disputes the need to spell words correctly and has very little respect for the rules of grammar or rules in general.

CHACE: Ramona Quimby, the most famous of all of Beverly Cleary’s characters, was unforgettable, mostly for the mistakes she made.

In this clip from the movie “Ramona And Beezus,” Ramona’s older sister Beezus has just received all A’s on her report card.

Ramona hid her report card in the freezer.

Spelling was never Ramona’s subject.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “RAMONA AND BEEZUS”)

JOEY KING: (As Ramona Quimby) And when I try to be original, she just shoots me down.

Like when I invented the word terrifical (ph), she goes, Ramona, that’s not a word.

And I say, it’s a lot funner (ph) word to say.

She goes, funner isn’t a word, either.

I mean, what kind of teacher is that? She can’t…

CHACE: Beverly Cleary’s memories are cinematically detailed.

In her autobiography, “A Girl From Yamhill,” she writes about clamping around on tin can stilts and yelling pieface at the neighbor.

She was an only child who grew up in Portland during the Depression.

When her father lost his job…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CLEARY: I was embarrassed.

I didn’t know how to talk to my father.

I know he felt so terrible at that time that I just – I guess I felt equally terrible.

And I think adults sometimes don’t think about how children are feeling about the adult problems.

CHACE: Cleary used her crystal-clear recall to capture the tribulations of young children exquisitely in her books.

BARBARA LALICKI: She was a pioneer in this contemporary, rooted-in-reality kind of book for children, stories about real children.

CHACE: Barbara Lalicki edited “Ramona’s World” for HarperCollins, the most recent of the Ramona books.

It was published in 1999.

Lalicki says that Cleary changed the entire field of writing for children away from fantasy and historical fiction.

Beverly Cleary books racked up awards and were constantly reprinted and re-illustrated.

Librarians everywhere keep a shelf of just Beverly Cleary.

Teachers read the books aloud to their students.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CLEARY: I think deep down inside, children are all the same.

CHACE: NPR asked Beverly Cleary why her books rang true for children decades after they were published.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CLEARY: They want two loving parents, and they would prefer a house with a neighborhood they can play in.

They want teachers that they can like.

I don’t think children themselves have changed that much as the world has changed.

CHACE: And Beverly Cleary, with her honest, straight-talking heroes and heroines, certainly changed it for the better.

Zoe Chace, NPR News.

Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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– March 27, 2021
beverly cleary books, Ramona Quimby

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