Award-winning children’s author Beverly Cleary passed away on Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Carmel, CA. She was 104 years old. She was the writer of such books as the Henry Huggins series, Ramona series, and the Ralph on the Motorcycle series.
In the 1950’s Cleary began her writing career with Henry Huggins. She followed it up with Beezus and Ramona and Henry and the Paper Route. These series continued into the 1970s. By 1965 she had written The Mouse And The Motorcycle. Adding to those sequels, she wrote Dear Mr. Henshaw in 1984.
By writing books about characters similar to themselves, readers enjoyed her books through the ages. Her books sold over 85 million copies. In 1975 the Library Association awarded her with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. In 2003 she received the National Medal Of Art. The Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend” in 2000 for her contributions to children’s literature. In Portland, Oregon, a public school is named after her. Her Dear Mr. Henshaw won a 1984 Newberry Medal.
Beverly was born on April 12, 1916, in McMinnville, OR. She grew up on the family farm. Growing up, she was disappointed in children’s stereotypical books. She wanted something to relate to. After graduating in California and marrying Clarence Cleary, she worked as a librarian in Oakland, CA. She began telling stories at schools and libraries. These were the basis for her books. Her own twins helped inspire her with fresh material .
Her husband passed away in 2004.