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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Beloved Children’s Book Author Beverly Cleary Dies At 104

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The celebrated children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who brought to life the famous Ramona Quimby, died Thursday at 104, her publisher, HarperCollins, said Friday.

Key Facts

HarperCollins said Cleary had been living in Carmel, California, since the 1960s, and did not give a cause of death.

Clearly authored children’s book series chronicling the adventures of beloved characters including Ramona and Beezus Quimby, Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse.

Cleary’s books have sold more than 85 million copies, and she earned numerous literary awards, including Newbery Honors in 1978 and 1982 for Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8, the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, along with the National Medal of Arts, which then-President George W. Bush awarded her in 2003.

Cleary served as an inspiration for other writers, including Judy Blume, actress Amy Poehler and Because of Winn Dixie author Kate DiCamillo, who all wrote forwards when three of Cleary’s books were reissued in 2016.

Crucial Quote

“I wanted to read about the sort of boys and girls that I knew in my neighborhood and in my school. And in my childhood, many years ago, children’s books seemed to be about English children, or pioneer children. And that wasn’t what I wanted to read. And I think children like to find themselves in books,” Cleary said in a 1999 NPR interview.

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