cover image My Own Two Feet

My Own Two Feet

Beverly Cleary. HarperCollins, $15 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14267-4

This second installment of the Newbery Medalist's autobiography (after A Girl from Yamhill) begins during the '30s, with the young Cleary leaving her home state of Oregon to attend junior college in California. The volume ends in 1949, with Morrow's acceptance of Cleary's first novel, the now-classic Henry Huggins (initially written as a short story entitled ``Spareribs and Henry''). The author's unsentimental recollections of herself as a student in the Depression, a librarian and a newlywed are told humorously and candidly. Friends and adversaries-her ever-critical mother, formidable professors, congenial classmates, gentlemen acquaintances (including future husband Clarence)-are as colorfully sketched as the characters appearing in Cleary's beloved novels. Able to laugh at her own mistakes and to recognize universal truths in everyday life, Cleary will endear herself even more to her fans with this account of her struggle for independence. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)