Beverly Cleary All about Bev's Life

Early Life & Background

Books Written by Beverly

Beverly Cleary's Books

Ramona Series

Beverly Cleary's first published book.
  • The Ramona series was first started to be published in 1950, the book was Beezus and Ramona.
  • Other books in the series include Ramona and Her Father, Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona Forever, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona the Brave, Ramona the Pest, and Ramona's World.
  • The last book in the Ramona series, Ramona's World, was published in 1999.
  • "Ramona" was an accidental character, that Beverly threw in an earlier book, just to give Beezus a sister.

Other Series

  • Beverly wrote several series: the Henry Huggins series, Jimmy and Janet, and Ralph S. Mouse
  • She also had various other books that weren't in a series
  • She wrote roughly 50 books in her career!
Some books from Beverly's series

Book Favorites

  • My favorite book by Beverly Cleary is The Luckiest Girl. It's about a young girl who spends a winter in California. She learns all about growing up, and falling in love.
  • Beverly Cleary said her favorite book is the dictionary. She reads it all the time when she is writing.

Inspiration- for Bev

Inspiration for her books

Beverly got much of her inspiration from everyday, ordinary things in her life. She said, "I was a very observant child. The boys in my books are based on boys in my neighborhood growing up."

Many of her books are set in Oregon, or the Pacific Northwest. This is because that is where Beverly grew up. It is often best to write about what you know, rather than trying to make everything up. When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, “From my own experience and from the world around me.”

Beverly prefers writing books for 3rd and 4th graders, best. She likes to include problems that children would have to face everyday. She says, "In 50 years, the world has changed, especially for kids, but kids' needs haven't changed. They still need to feel safe, be close to their families, like their teachers, and have friends to play with." She thinks the world has enough problems that kids will eventually face, so she keeps the problems in her books small.

Whenever Beverly is asked what time period her books are set in, she can never say. Her only answer is simply, "childhood." When reading her books this proves to be true. She writes classically and timelessly. Her books are as relevant to children now as they were in 1950 when they were first being published.

Inspiration, from Bev

Beverly Cleary wrote many touching and inspiring books. In addition to her author's works, she also has said many things I think are incredibly inspiring.

To Inspire Reading

  • "Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school."
  • "I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library."
  • "I read my books aloud before they were published."
  • "I hope children will be happy with the books I've written, and go on to be readers all of their lives."
  • "One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since."

Beverly wrote for you, too. Her works inspire and capture what it means to grow up as a girl in a contemporary culture. (Even if the book is set in the 1960's)

Writing Tips and Tricks

  • Beverly writes 'very messily'. She doesn't start at the beginning or end or a book. She writes where her imagination has the most vivid picture.
  • She lets the words and books guide her. Sometimes the ending is finished before the beginning is even started.
  • Her characters live in her mind. The Ramona books were started because Beverly kept having ideas of what Ramona might be doing.
  • She says. "Writers are good at plucking out what they need here and there."
  • Beverly has two writing mantras, one is from her mother: “The best writing is simple writing. And try to write something funny. People enjoy reading anything that makes them laugh.”
  • The other is from a college professor: “The proper subject of the novel is the universal human experience.”

Fun Facts from a Fun Lady

Fun Facts

There is a TV show, called Ramona, that aired in 1988 for 10 episodes.
Beverly Cleary is still alive- she is 100 years old!
Beverly Cleary has a statue in Portland, Oregon.
Beverly's statue in Grant Park, in Portland, Oregon
Her parents didn't approve of her husband, Clarence Cleary, but they got married anyway.
Beverly loves cats! She's had many cats over the years.
Beverly and one of her cats

Louis Darling- Illustrator

About His Life

  • Louis was born in the same year as Beverly Cleary- 1916.
  • He was in the Air Force.
  • Louis married Lois, and often collaborated on writing and illustrating works.
  • He really loved the environment.
  • He died in 1970, at age 53.
Louis in 1960

His work with Beverly

  • Louis is best known for his works with Beverly on the Henry Huggins and Ramona series
  • He illustrated nearly all her books until he passed away.
Darling's work in the Ramona books
Henry Huggins, Ribsy, and Ramona
Created By
Rachel Jacobsen

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