Top 5 Books Written by Beverly Cleary
People of a certain age will have probably read one of the books from Beverly Cleary sometime in their life. Be it the antics of young Ramona Quimby, the adventures of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, or the times of Henry Huggins. We grew up with the books she wrote or even learned to read by them. Sadly on March 25, 2021, she left us at the age of 104. She was an incredible author that lived a full and adventurous life. We take a look at these Top 5 books that Beverly Cleary wrote and passed on the goodness to generations of kids.
Beverly Cleary – Henry Huggins
First published in 1950 this book tells the story of young Henry Huggins who is accompanied by his dog Ribsy as he gets into all kinds of adventures. There were later books to be made of Henry but they all started here. An interesting note was Beezus and Ramona Quimby started out as friends of Henry in these books on the street in Oregon before starring in their own series. This book has become so popular in the decades since it was published that it has been translated into many different languages from Chinese to Dutch. It has been said this book was written after Cleary got a letter from a child asking, “Where are the books about the kids like us?” and a series was born.
Beverly Cleary – The Mouse And The Motorcycle
This book was published first in 1965. It tells the story of the childlike Ralph, a mouse who lives in a run-down motel in the Sierra Nevada area in the mountains. He is an adventurous mouse that wants excitement in his life and doesn’t want to stay in the run-down hotel for the rest of his life. Thanks to a human child misplacing a toy motorcycle and Ralph being taught how to start it and ride it, Ralph gets to zoom around the motel and then sets out for adventures of his own.
Leave it to Beaver
A book published in 1960 and was based on the popular TV show at the time. The book, much like the television show, revolved around the young Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and all the adventures he gets into. While not a problem child “Beaver” is seen as a young Tom Sawyer type with him just living life and experiencing things for the first time, Much like many of her other books she has written before or since this one, it is very family-friendly and told through “Beaver’s” perspective.
A Girl from Yamhill
Instead of telling one of her humorous tales like something in the Ramona Quimby or the Henry Huggins series, this is the tale of her life. Beverly Cleary tells the story of her own upbringing in Oregon during the Great Depression. It is said to be as warm as many of her other books but you can feel this story was even more heartfelt as it was her own story that she lived through. She goes into much detail about things she experienced as a middle schooler during that time like her difficulties in learning to read and the things she got into at that age. As they say, the truth is more relatable than the fiction she wrote.
Beezus and Ramona
The first book starring Ramona Quimby started the popular series of books. This book was published back in 1955 and told through the perspective of the older sister of the duo, Beatrice who is 10 and is frustrated by her imaginative 4-year-old sister at the time. Not only is this the start of a popular book series but was also spawned from the Henry Huggins book series. This book was the starting point for the Ramona book series and also spawned a live-action movie and a Canadian miniseries of TV specials that were very popular in 1988.