Children’s Book Author Beverly Cleary Passes Away At 104

Beverly Cleary passes away
Beverly Cleary passes away: Best-selling children’s author Beverly Cleary has passed away on March 25. She was 104 years old.

Cleary introduced young readers to the characters like Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins. “We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. Looking back, she’d often say, ‘I’ve had a lucky life,’ and generations of children count themselves lucky too. Her timeless books are an affirmation of her everlasting connection to the pleasures, challenges, and triumphs that are part of every childhood,” Publisher HarperCollins confirmed the news in a press release on Friday.

The celebrated children’s author died on Thursday in Carmel Valley, California, where she had been living since the 1960s. The cause of death is still unknown.

Cleary studied library science at the University of Washington and worked as the children’s librarian at Yakima, Washington. “She was a pioneer in writing chapter books with humor and situations that real children could relate to,” said Cynthia Richey, past president of the Association for Library Service to Children. “I think her language and writing style is simple but not simplistic and very accessible and emotionally charged, and her humor is unparalleled,” she added.

Beverly Cleary also worked at an Oakland army hospital during World War II. Cleary wrote her first Henry Huggins book in 1950. “I believe my books age so well because childhood is universal,” the Newbery Award winner and two-time honoree told People magazine in a 1988 interview.

Among the Henry Huggins titles that became popular among her young readers were Henry and Ribsy, Henry and the Paper Route and Henry and Beezus. Ramona Quimby, perhaps her best-known character, initially made her debut in Henry Huggins with only a brief mention.

April 12, Cleary’s birthday, is also known as D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Day, an annual celebration that encourages families and children to read.

Feature Image Credit: AP

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