cover image Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary

Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary

Vicki Conrad, illus. by David Hohn. Little Bigfoot, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-63217-222-8

Centenarian Cleary, who created such enduring characters as Henry Huggins and Ramona Quimby and won the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, had a lonely early childhood as an only child growing up in rural Oregon. After her family moved to Portland, the first grader struggled with reading, unable to identify with boring stories assigned by her irascible teacher and left to wonder, “Where were the books about kids like her?” Years later, working as a librarian, she listened to complaints from children asking that same question and was inspired to write stories to which contemporary kids could relate. Debut author Conrad’s storytelling is straightforward, ably conveying—in tandem with Hohn’s homespun, vintage-style illustrations—the various eras of Cleary’s life and her passion for writing and for nurturing readers. Ages 5–9. [em](Aug.) [/em]