Happy 101st Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

If you’ve read my novels, you already know that I love a tough heroine. This is a love I can trace all the way back to my earliest experiences in my mom’s bookstore. Encountering Ramona Quimby was definitely a formative experience, and Ramona the Pest remains one of my all-time favorite books.

On the occasion of Beverly Cleary’s 101st, I’m reflecting on everything I’ve learned from her. As a child, I appreciated how much she understood—and respected—the thoughts and feelings of kids. As a writer, I recognize her ability to craft characters who are absolutely and indomitably themselves.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Cleary. And many happy returns of the day!

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