Beverly popular that her Ramona and Ralph S.

Beverly Cleary is one of the most recognizable and successful names in children’s literature. Learn more about Beverly Cleary, her works, and test your understanding through a quiz.

Who is Beverly Cleary?

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A Lengthy Career

Cleary’s passion for writing never ended. At age 18 she attended junior college in Ontario, California and the University of California at Berkeley where she would earn a bachelor’s degree in English in 1934.

Cleary relocated to Seattle where she would enter the School of Librarianship. Here she would specialize in library work with children, and earned her a degree in library science. She would eventually become a librarian in Yakima, Washington.1950 was a good year for Cleary, this was the year she would finally publish her first book ‘Henry Huggins’. Cleary was praised for her writing style, due to her use of creating simple, funny, stories that many could relate to. She gives credit to an older professor who assured her that she would find success by using relatable experiences in her stories.

Cleary continued to use this type of writing style as a way to engage younger readers and became a top name in children’s literature.Many of her stories became a series due to their popularity and were praised by critics. Cleary continued writing with the intention of motivating students to read, and it worked out for her. Her books would go onto sell millions of copies, and were published in 20 different languages. The stories were so popular that her Ramona and Ralph S. Mouse were adapted into short TV series on PBS and ABC. Additionally she was won several awards.

Cleary has since retired from writing, but her stories are continued to be read to this day.


Cleary’s has been credited for writing over 30 books that have been awarded more than 35 statewide awards through the direct votes of young readers. Some of her most popular work includes:

Popular Books
The Ramona Series: The series follows a young girl who faces a variety of relatable situations. Some of the issues she faces are problems with teachers, jealousy, bullying, and embarrassment.

Ramona shines as a character who is funny and personable, which is no wonder why kids have enjoyed reading about her for decades.

The Ralph S. Mouse Series: The series tells an extraordinary story about a motorcycle-riding mouse and his various adventures. One of his adventures include him growing bored of living in his small mouse hole and wanting to experience the world. So he befriends a young boy named Keith to assist him in his goal.
The Beezus ; Ramona Series: Cleary Shares with readers the troubles of being the older sibling.

In this series, she writes about the various problems Beezus faces living with her four-year-old hyper little sister. The stories focus on the love between the siblings despite their problems and conflicts.

The Henry Series: The series that started it all for Beverly Cleary, tells the adventures about a young boy named Henry as he faces many situations younger boys can relate to.

5 Quick Facts

  1. The University of California at Berkeley named one of their residence halls to honor her.

  2. Cleary was named a ‘Living Legend’, by The Library of Congress.
  3. Selena Gomez starred in film adaptation of ‘Ramona and Beezus.’
  4. There is an elementary school in Oregon named after her, ‘Beverly Cleary Elementary’.
  5. The Drop Everything and Read (D.E.

    A.R.) program was created to honor Beverly Cleary on her birthday. This idea was originally created by Cleary herself, and featured in the Ramona series.

    So every April 12th schools nationwide participate in encouraging their students to drop whatever is in their hands and pick up a book instead.

Lesson Summary

Beverly Cleary is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time. For decades she has entertained and created lifelong readers through the stories she wrote.

She did not get awarded the name, ‘Living Legend’ for doing nothing. She wrote about her own past experiences and those of the people around her, trying as hard as she could to be as relatable as possible. Cleary wrote her first book in 1950, ‘Henry Huggins’. The story was well received and praised by critics.

Cleary continued to write and earned many awards along the way. She created many popular series that students are reading to this day.


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