I heard today of the passing of the beloved children’s author, Beverly Cleary at age 104. I was 10 years old when she won a Newbery Honor for Ramona Quimby. I remember reading several of her books when I was in elementary school. I remember my son loving her books, especially Ribsy and Henry Huggins. I remember reading Socks to my 3rd grade classes and how much they loved the characters. Her books captured the day to day moments and feelings of typical kids. Her works are timeless; reading them is almost a right of passage for elementary students.
Reflecting on my great appreciation for Beverly Cleary today, I remembered a tour I took in 2012 in Portland that highlighted many of the places she lived and wrote about. I went searching for pictures I took while taking this tour. I finally found them on a old computer, and I’m so glad I did!
My brother and his family live in the neighborhood where Beverly Cleary grew up and went to school. The local library has a “Walking with Ramona” tour that I followed one day on my bike ride. I saw the schools that Beverly went to and used as the models for Ramona’s school, the Rite Aid that was the sight of the Colossal Market in her books, Klickitat Street where the Quimby’s fictional home was located, Beverly’s childhood home, and the famous statues in Grant Park. It was a fun way to celebrate one of my favorite authors! The community is so proud of her impact, as they should be.