Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beverly Cleary, Beezus and Ramona

UC Berkeley has published a great piece about one of their most famous alumni (well, at least I think so!). Beverly Cleary (who is 94 now!) talks about the release of Ramona and Beezus, writing and YA literature.

Read the article here.

I grew up with Beverly Cleary. Her books were the first chapter books I remember reading (besides Charlotte's Web, which I didn't even know how to read but pretended to when I was in kindergarten. I made my mom pack it in my bag for summer camp and "made up" my version of the book, wanting to read it so bad).

I'm excited for the movie version based on Ramona. I remember the home movie series, and this one looks even better. Now, if only I knew a young reader to take to the theatre with me!

If you have time, read this article. It talks about Cleary's life, how she got into writing, her thoughts on writing (including the current YA market). The article sites YA columnist Lizzie Skurnick who states, "With Beverly Cleary, she presents the actual emotional danger and complexity in wanting a boy to like you." I think that's why I always loved her books. She gave us simple situations that we could all relate to, but they were situations that seemed major and life changing when you were young. I remember thinking that Beezus was so cool, and I wanted to be just like her.

Beverly Cleary is also quoted saying, "I would ignore all the trends...and I would not let money influence any decisions about my book." I think she's done just that and perhaps that's why people still love her books decades later.


Ruth Donnelly said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing the link to the article. I've been a big fan of BC since I was about eight. As you said, it's so easy to identify with her characters. I'm excited about the movie, too.

I posted about her here:


Some Screaming Fangirl said...

Whoa! She's 94! I find that somewhat terrifying. When I read her books when I was younger, she seemed like a twenty-something...ah well.

I think the movie version looks good, too. I'm just not pleased with a Disney Channel star cast as Ramona's sister...doesn't seem proper, somehow.

Thanks for posting!

Kristan said...

Great article! I need to reread her and Judy Blume. But I agree that stories don't *need* fantastical elements to be good. I'm glad that writers (like you!) are focusing on contemporary YA too, because I think there are a lot of kids who will enjoy and benefit from that. (I have a couple contemp YA ideas up my sleeve too... For later, lol.)

Jen said...

Blogger is testing my patience not allowing my last comment to go through!!!

I was saying that I can't wait for the movie Ramona to come out, it's going to be so cute! I love those stories along with Rohl Dahl, both dear to my heart!!

Psst!! I'm excited to showcase your interview on Friday! Squee! I'm so excited!

Faith E. Hough said...

That's awesome. Beverly Clearly was/is/and ever shall be amazing.

Lisa Nowak said...

I've got to say I take pride in living in Beverly Cleary's home town of Portland, OR, where there really is a Klickitat street. I can't wait to see the Ramona movie. Ramona was my hero when I was a kid, and I've been reading all the books about her that have been published since then.