Beverly Cleary Biography
Author Beverly Cleary
The author Beverly Cleary is a well-known children's author. Her books include Beezus and Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse. In all Beverly Cleary wrote nearly 40 children's books that are as well loved today as when she first started writing them more than 60 years ago.
Beverly Cleary also wrote two memoirs, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet. These true stories are even better than her children's books!
Photo of a beat up (well loved) Beverly Cleary book. Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood
A Girl from Yamhill
Beverly Atlee Bunn was born in 1916 in McMinnville, Oregon, and was raised in Yamhill, Oregon, until she was school age. She was an only child, and her family moved to Portland, Oregon, where Beverly attended school.
She lived in Northeast Portland and played on the streets where her characters Henry, Beezus, and Ramona played. She even named the streets in those books after the real Portland streets where she lived, like Klickitat Street.
Beverly left Portland to attend college in California. She graduated in 1938 from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, she went to library school and became a librarian. She worked in the Portland library system until she and her husband moved to California.
In 1940, she married Clarence Cleary. They had twins, a son and daughter. In 1950, her first novel, Henry Huggins was published. Beverly Cleary now lives in Carmel, California.
Source: Beverly Cleary's Web Site
Photo of the Cleary's with the Ramona statue in Grant Park, Portland, Oregon.
Photo Credit: Multnomah County Library
Beverly Cleary Memoirs
Two Autobiographies by Beverly Cleary
I've read both of Beverly Cleary's memoirs: A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet. (I love reading memoirs / autobiographies by writers I admire.) I found these books to be fascinating and revealing.
If you get a chance to read them, you'll be surprised at her own family's dynamics, her story of going to college during the Depression and going on to graduate school, which was almost unheard of, and more.
"I had a very wise mother.
She always kept books that
were my grade level in our house."
~ Beverly Cleary
Books About Beverly Cleary
The Mother of Twins - Wrote About Twins in Mitch and Amy
Beverly Cleary and her husband had two children--twins! When Beverly Cleary wrote Mitch and Amy, a children's book about siblings who are twins, she probably drew on the experience of parenting twins.
"Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school."
~ Beverly Cleary
Grant Park in Portland, Oregon - Home to the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden
The Beverly Cleary sculpture garden is located just south of the playground in Grant Park on N.E. 33rd Ave., between Knott Street and Broadway. To see the statues of Henry, Ribsy, and Ramona with fountains, you have to enter the park. The Portland Parks Department turns on the water when weather and conditions permit.
Henry Huggins - and Ribsy!
Henry Huggins was Beverly Cleary's first book. Henry is my second favorite Beverly Cleary character.
Ramona is My Favorite Beverly Cleary Character
I've been a big fan of Romana Quimby for decades. I can totally relate to being the little sister, misunderstanding why things are the way they are, and being a pest.
"People are usually surprised to hear this, but I don't really read children's books."
~ Beverly Cleary
Do You Have a Favorite Book Character by author Beverly Cleary?
Beverly Cleary made up such memorable characters in her books.
Which character is your favorite?
"I read my books aloud
before they were published."
~ Beverly Cleary
About Beverly Cleary - Online Articles about Beverly Cleary
- Author Profile: Beverly Cleary
A profile by Jim Trelease of children's author Beverly Cleary and her career.
- Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden - Multnomah County Library
Multhommah County in Portland, Oregon, where Beverly Cleary grew up has a Web page with several Beverly Cleary links (click the left side text links): Sculpture Garden, Beverly Cleary's neighborhood, etc.
- Beverly Cleary--NNDB
The author of children's picture books as well as juvenile fiction and young adult novels, Beverly Cleary is best known for her stories about little Ramona Quimby, her big sister Beezus, and their neighborhood pal Henry Huggins.
- Beverly Cleary, Age 90 - The Daily Beast
If you haven't raised a child between the ages of 7 and 11--or been a kid yourself in recent years--you probably don't realize that Beverly Cleary is a phenomenon. One of America's most successful living authors, she's written 39 beloved books since
- Growing Up on Klickitat Street | Portland Metblogs
Like many children, I grew up reading the works of Beverly Cleary. Beezus, Ramona, Henry Huggins and Ribsy were like members of my family. It was something of a
Awards for Beverly Cleary Books
Beverly Cleary was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1984 for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her books Ramona and Her Father in 1978 and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in 1982 were named Newbery Honor Books.
She also was named the Library of Congress Living Legend for 2000, and she won the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2003.