Goodbye to the Girl from Yamhill

I thought of several things to write about today, but all that was thrown right out of the window when I heard on the evening news tonight that a Living Legend, author Beverly Cleary, has died. She was 104 years old- just weeks away from 105. Her first book was published just two years before I was born… I grew up reading her books. I enjoyed reading her memoirs as an adult. I even lived in Portland for 10 years near the neighborhood she wrote about. I have read her books aloud to my own kids and in classrooms. I enjoyed reading her spirited comments in interviews… one of the best when she was asked her secret to living so long on her hundredth birthday, and she responded, “I didn’t do it on purpose.”

She was a reluctant reader who struggled with learning to read after suffering several illnesses during her first year in school. She was mostly bored with children’s books that were available to her, but her love of reading soared when she found a series of books she truly enjoyed. She became a librarian, and her writing career started after a boy’s question, “Where are the books about kids like us?” prompted her to write some.

Beverly Cleary wrote more than 30 books. Her characters- Henry, Ramona and Beezus, Otis and Ellen, Ribsy and Socks, and of course, Ralph the Mouse are well-known and beloved friends of children around the world. They will live on and many more children will become life-long readers because of them.

Goodbye to the Girl from Yamhill. We will always remember you!

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8 Responses to Goodbye to the Girl from Yamhill

  1. arjeha says:

    Yes, her books will live on.

  2. She inspired many readers, as well as many writers. And yes, her books will live on. Ramona is a powerful character. I hadn’t heard about her death until your post, and I’m sad, but also appreciative of all she did for the literary world.

  3. Oh i so loved her books and reading them to our children (daughters in particular) as they grew up. And now we have a few copies in our little library in India, so she has gone far and wide. Sad news to hear.

  4. This is sad news. She touched so many. I loved reading her books.

  5. Ramona says:

    I love the books of Beverly Cleary and what she did for the world of children’s literature! Thanks for this tribute to an author who’ll live on in our hearts.

  6. Fran Haley says:

    I am so glad you wrote to honor Beverly Cleary – I remember my first encounter with her work, dear old Ribsy. Adored Ralph S. Mouse as well. What a gift she was – will always be – to the world.

  7. mrssurridge says:

    I hadn’t heard that Beverly Cleary had passed away. She has left a true legacy behind. Her stories never get old. She has touched so many generations. I was looking for my next read-aloud in class. I think you just gave me a perfect idea.

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