Beverly Cleary passes away at the age of 104

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Bailey McLean, News Editor

 Beverly Cleary, the beloved children’s author that many adults grew up with has sadly passed away at the age of 104 on March 25. Mrs. Cleary published more than 40 books throughout her life, many of them being about zestful children like the daring Henry Huggins or the bold Ramona Quimby and many others. 

Her target audience was elementary students. Since she wanted to make characters that the students could relate to, Mrs. Cleary’s stories were about everyday real-life problems and events faced by school-aged boys and girls with a humorous twist on them. More than 85 million copies were sold and became a key part of school children’s readings. Mrs. Cleary’s books earned her awards like the Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor, and even the National Medal of Arts, given to her by President George W. Bush in 2003. 

Mrs. Cleary grew up on a farm near Yamhill, Oregon, but during the hard economic times, her family relocated to Portland where she got the inspiration for most of her book settings. Growing up, Cleary struggled with reading and was placed in a special group for troubled readers. After being placed in the group, Cleary’s skills had improved, and ultimately she found reading boring saying how the stories that she read were too simple and unsurprising. 

After discovering The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch, a book she actually found interesting, Cleary spent a lot of her time in a library. Based on essays she had written for her sixth-grade class, her teacher suggested that she should become a children’s writer as a future career. Cleary then later graduated from Portland’s Grant High School in 1934 and later in 1983 Cleary earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Berkeley. Her legacy lives on through her books.