Whether you identify with Ramona, Beezus, Henry Huggins or the Mouse and the Motorcycle, you can probably tell a story about how Beverly Cleary changed your life.

Over at The Awl, Alex Balk writes of how the author made him an "enthusiastic reader." He continues, "the experience of enjoying an author's work so much that you want to read more of it is not to be undervalued at an early age."

Amen to that! And Happy 95th Birthday, Beverly Cleary.

Click here to read BookPage's interview with Cleary about Ramona's World, published in 1999. During the interview, the author described what her books are about:


"I'm writing about growing up. What interests me is what children go through while growing up. Some people think the books are more serious, but I think children, as they grow up, are more aware of life's problems than they were when they were in kindergarten. Quite often somebody will say, 'What year do your books take place?' and the only answer I can give is, 'In childhood.'

Parents, teachers and librarians: Do kids in your life still relate to Cleary's characters?

What's your favorite Cleary character?

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