“I don't necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that's most vivid in my imagination and work forward and backward from there.” – Beverly Cleary
Everyone’s been wishing Beverly Cleary a happy 100th birthday this week (it was on Tuesday) and at first I thought that perhaps it would be redundant of me to do the same. And then, I thought, “No. Anyone who has had the body of work and impact on the writing world that she has had – and continues to have – deserves salutes from any and all.” And thus, to that, I add my voice.
I love all that she has done, not only for her creation and portrayal of outstanding characters and the writing world, but also for the greater-than-huge
who might not have had the impetus to pick up a book or listen to a story until they saw or heard something she had written.
“The world has changed, especially for kids, but kids' needs haven't changed,” Cleary recently reflected. “They still need to feel safe, be close to their families, like their teachers, and have friends to play with.”
And per Cleary’s legacy it is up to the rest of us who seek the writing life to help insure that the opportunities for every child not only remain but continue to expand.
“Quite often,” Cleary noted, “somebody will say to me, ‘What year do your books take place?’ and the only answer I can give is, ‘In childhood’.”
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