I could always relate to poor Beezus and was always grateful that my little sister wasn't as much of a stinker. My other favorite was Ramona Quimby, Age 8, probably because I was about that age when I first read it. I could also relate to Ramona's frustrations with life at that point.
The Ralph S. Mouse collection helped me to be a little less fearful of mice. My favorite was always The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
She also wrote about Muggie Maggie, a third-grader who couldn't read well and despised cursive. I read this to a third grader I was tutoring, who had similar problems.
I also learned a bit about young love in her books geared more toward teens. Fifteen was my favorite of all of those. I couldn't wait until I was also fifteen and could find such a boyfriend. (It didn't work out quite that way, but I digress.)
Today is Beverly Cleary's birthday. She is still going strong at a whopping 96 years of age. It is her fault that so many of us fell in love with reading. In fact, today is National Drop Everything And Read Day, thanks to her stories of Ramona and D.E.A.R. in school. It was chosen to honor her on her birthday, because she inspired so many of us to do it on a daily basis.
Thank you, Beverly Cleary, for years of inspiration and a lifelong love of reading.
What were your favorite Beverly Cleary books?
(For more information, click on any book cover above.)