New readers find a friend in Beverly Cleary, who displays an uncanny understanding of kid life in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Henry Huggins, and other titles in her classic series of books about life on Klickitat Street -- books that hold up decade after decade.
Read the biography
See our video interview with Cleary (9:48)
Also Known As:
Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1916
Place of Birth:
B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, 1975; Newbery Honor for Ramona and Her Father, 1978; Newbery Honor for Ramona Quimby, Age 8, 1982; Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, 1984
|New Editions of Cleary Classics|
Beverly Cleary, J. Winslow Higginbottom (Illustrator)
The formerly out of print 1984 title Lucky Chuck is revived with its original illustrations, enhanced with color. Kids will love both the story of motorcycle-obsessed Chuck and the detailed drawings of his bike. Also, a new Ramona box set includes the later books Ramona and Her Father, Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona Forever, and Ramona's World.
The Ramona Collection
Beverly Cleary, Alan Tiegreen (Illustrator)
|Cleary's Own Reading Breakthrough|
|The author who has inspired a love of reading in so many children was herself not so hot on the pastime as a child, at first. Cleary struggled in school, but her mother tried to instill in her a love of books by keeping lots of them around. She says in our interview: "One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade and in the days before TV, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to I was reading and actually enjoying The Dutch Twins. I have been a reader ever since." In another essay, Cleary also recalls enjoying The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.|
|Meet Ralph||Winning the Newbery|
|The Mouse and the Motorcycle|
Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (Illustrator)
The most adventurous mouse since Stuart Little gets around on a toy motorcycle and lives at an inn in California, where he makes friends with some of its human inhabitants. Cleary wrote three books about Ralph, starting with this debut title and followed by Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse, collected below.
|Dear Mr. Henshaw|
Beverly Cleary, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)
Although two of Cleary's Ramona books had earned Newbery Honors, she took home the medal for this sympathetic, diary-style portrait of a preteen boy named Leigh who copes with his parents' divorce and a new school. She revisits a 14-year-old Leigh in the sequel, Strider.
Beverly Cleary, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)||