She published her last book in 1999, but she's still a favorite among young readers.
Beloved author Beverly Cleary, of the Ramona Quimby books, is turning 104 on Sunday, April 12! Her books and stories are still popular among readers. Her birthday is celebrated as National D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read) to commemorate the accomplishments of the beloved children’s book author. “I’m just lucky,” the author said on her book’s success during an interview with the National Post in 2016. The popular Ramona’s World was Cleary’s last published book in 1999, but even after over two decades, it is been sold all over the world, with copies translated into 14 languages, according to her website.
The Library of Congress also awarded her with the title “Living Legend” in 2005, adding one more to the huge list of other prestigious awards she has received. She became a popular author among her young fans because of how she addresses the problems of readers through her stories in a relatable and funny manner. Fans of her work still haven't gotten enough of her characters like Henry Huggins and Ellen Tebbits. “She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next,” wrote by Cleary in her book Ramona the Pest, and it's been one of her most famous quotes.
Beverly Cleary turns 104 on April 12th, national Drop Everything and Read Day. I am giving away 4 signed copies of my book, Just Like Beverly from @LBFbooks. RT/QT/ and comment with your fav Beverly Cleary book or your current read to win the #Giveaway. #beverlycleary pic.twitter.com/FqSP9qar3b— Vicki (@VickiMcee) April 10, 2020
Cleary was born in 1916 in McMinnville, Oregon, but later her family had to move to a new small town that didn’t have a library. She did not have a flair for books, as she struggled to read, until they shifted to Portland, Oregon, according to her website. Life can be quite funny because now, her whole world revolves around books. She gradually realized that she is meant to write stories that she “longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew,” according to her biography page. Soon she became a children’s librarian and her first book was published in 1950, titled Henry Huggins.
All of Cleary's 32 books, except for one, were written in longhand and none of her manuscripts have ever been rejected, she told PEOPLE in 2010. Out of all her famous characters, she identifies herself as the most well-mannered Ellen Tebbits character. “But inside, I had Ramona-like thoughts,” said Cleary. People took to Facebook to share their experience and Jan Rickard Davis wrote: I read all her books growing up in the 50s and early 60s. I sent her a letter once and she wrote back to me. I still have it. She is a treasure! Diane Courtright added: My daughter brought home "Henry Huggins" from her school's library. She laughed so hard while reading it and gave it to me to read. I loved it so much and read every Beverly Cleary book she brought home. I grew up about one block from Klickatat Street in Portland in the 50s . These books brought back many memories that I could especially relate too.