"Quite often somebody will say, 'What year do your books take place?' and the only answer I can give is, in childhood." Beverly Cleary
And Beverly Cleary is a great way focus on National Library Week (April 11-17). How many of us have checked out a Beverly Cleary book from the library? So many of us know and love her. But did you know that Beverly wasn't an easy reader right away,
Troubled at school and beset by bad teachers, she didn’t learn to read until the third grade. Though, as she remarked tartly in our conversation, “My mother always read to me, so why should I learn to read?” (Source: The Ageless Appeal of Beverly Cleary, NY Times, April 8, 2011)
But like Ramona Quimby she didn't give up and once she learned to read well, can you guess her favorite place to spend time? That's right, the library. And, of course like each of us, she grew up, went to college and then began working as a children's librarian! And again, just like each of us, Beverly's life lead her on a journey. And along the way she noticed children --what children are really like-- and she read children's books and recognized something wonderful, "I knew I could write a better book.” And who could possibly disagree?