Award-winning author Beverly Cleary, whose charming children’s books include “Ralph S. Mouse” and “Beezus and Ramona,” will celebrate a major milestone on April 12. She’s turning 100.
In recent interviews leading up to the big day, Cleary, who lives in a retirement community in Northern California, has offered up words of wisdom that are equally as charming as her novels.
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“Someone told me, ‘You don’t look a day over 80,’ and I took it as a compliment. I’m surprised that I’m almost 100,” she told Publishers Weekly. “I sometimes write the figures down on paper to make sure.”
Cleary eloped in 1940, marrying longtime sweetheart Clarence Cleary, who died in 2004. The mother of twins Marianne and Malcolm, Cleary notes that parenting is very different today.
“I think children today have a tough time, because they don’t have the freedom to run around as I did — and they have so many scheduled activities,” she told the Washington Post.
Although she didn’t read on her own until third grade, Cleary has more than 40 titles in print. In January, HarperCollins published new editions of three of her most popular works: “Henry Huggins” (her first published novel, which came out in 1950), “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.” Actors Selena Gomez and Joey King play her two most famous characters in the 2010 movie “Beezus and Ramona.”
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On April 12, Cleary’s “whole family is going to come and get together” at her home, where a festive celebration is planned. She told PW: “I have a very pleasant life. My window looks out on a courtyard full of flowering trees.”
For another tale of an American elder, check out Older, Wiser, and Thankful to God.
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