A Girl from Yamhill

Beverly Cleary, Author Harper Teen $21.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-688-07800-3
It's surprising to learn in this intimate book that Cleary, creator of Henry Huggins, Ramona and other irrepressible characters, was an unhappy child, always longing for affection and approval from her mother. Born in 1916 on an Oregon farm, she spent most of her youth in Portland, which she remembers in astonishing detail. She struggled with reading, rules for good behavior and many kinds of disillusionment. Cleary's humor is dry and effective, but underneath, the sadness persists. She often worried about her parents, whose prospects were tragically undermined by the Depression. But such longings and worries weren't discussed in those days. Partly to escape, she took pleasure in rebelsher classmate Ralph, who ""modeled his gum into a small rhinoceros horn,'' and her Camp Fire Girls leader, Mrs. Growe, ``a woman of courage who did not fuss about details.'' This is a slow, sometimes oblique story at the outset, but deeply moving by the end. A real gift to Cleary's many fans, young and old. Ages 12-up. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-380-72740-7
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-440-40185-8
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-06-170897-8
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-175672-6
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-170899-2
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