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Literary Birthdays: Beverly Cleary

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April 12th is the birthday of author Beverly Cleary.  It is also the day to Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.)!

Beverly Cleary is the author of numerous children’s books such as Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ralph S. Mouse, and Henry and Ribsy. Her books have earned national and state awards and honors of all kinds, and most recently, in 2000, she was named by the Library of Congress as a “Living Legend.”  He stories have made a genuine lasting impression on the world of children’s literature.

National D.E.A.R. Day is a literacy campaign to remind families that reading together is a fun everyday event and easy to make a family routine. The slogan Drop Everything And Read is spread around the country in schools and homes by spokesperson Ramona Quimby. Ramona experienced and enjoyed D.E.A.R. in her own school in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and has been spreading the joy of reading ever since. (You can read a letter from Ramona about D.E.A.R. HERE.)

Both Ramona and Mrs. Cleary are no strangers to Literary Mama. Read HERE for a Father’s Day review of Ramona and Her Father, by Sarah Raleigh Kilts. And HERE for Rebecca Kaminsky’s review of the Ramona collection.

Besides Ramona and Mrs. Cleary, D.E.A.R. is promoted and partnered by many organizations, such as The National Education Association, Parent Teacher Association, the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association), Reading Rockets, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, First Book, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Read Kiddo Read, and Walden Media.

Visit the D.E.A.R website, where you can print out bookmarks and flyers, find a full listing of Beverly Cleary’s books, or read more about Beverly Cleary’s life and work.

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

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