"She taught us how to use the library and once made us line up alphabetically by our last names, as if we were books on shelves. After that, I found a place on the shelf where my book would be if I ever wrote a book, which I doubted" (143).Ha ha. She went on to write 42 books, including two autobiographies (if Wikipedia has it right).
"As much as I enjoyed writing it, I thought "Journey Through Bookland" was a poor story because the girl's journey turned out to be a dream; and if there was anything I disliked, it was a good story that ended up as a dream. Authors of such stories, including Lewis Carroll, were cheating, I felt, because they could not think of any other conclusion" (146).
I'm not sure which of my own teachers growing up told me this, but I distinctly remember being taught that when writing stories, they should never end with "... and then he/she woke up from a dream."
During her sophomore year in high school, Cleary chose typing as an elective, "which Mother did not consider frivolous because I was going to be a writer" (212). She managed a G for Good in the class and opted not to take the second semester.
"Today, when I am asked the most difficult part of writing, I answer "typing," which is taken as a joke. It is not. There is nothing funny about typewriting"(212).
I think I get Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume confused. And in my home, Judy Blume was an author to be selective about. I can remember not being allowed to read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret? But then having it assigned as a book to read for a Adolescent Lit. class at BYU. It was probably her book, Forever, that I was to avoid (and have thus far).
Now that I've read more about Beverly Cleary, I have a much clearer picture of who she is and which books she wrote. I didn't remember until I saw all of her books listed on her website and her Wikipedia page how many of her books were my favorites growing up, and are now my kids' favorites. I loved the Ramona books. I loved Dear Mr. Henshaw. I loved Ralph S. Mouse and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I don't remember reading her Henry Higgins books as a kid, but my kids have listened to them on cd and Jed has read them aloud to the kids and they've loved them.