This Saturday, April 12th, we celebrate the 98th birthday of one of America’s most treasured authors for children – Beverly Cleary.
Cleary is the author of more than 30 books for children and young adults, and she has sold over 91 million copies of her books worldwide! The characters she has created are known and loved by readers young and old – Ralph S. Mouse, Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beatrice ‘Beezus’ Quimby and, perhaps the most beloved of them all, Ramona Quimby.
In Beverly Cleary’s sixth Ramona story, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona’s new teacher Mrs Whaley tells her students that every day they are going to take part in Sustained Silent Reading – a chance to read any book of their choosing from the class library and no book reports are required!! Mrs Whaley doesn’t think that Sustained Silent Reading sounds very exciting or interesting so she devises a new name – D.E.A.R. or Drop Everything and Read!
As all teachers know, SSR or D.E.A.R. is a very important part of a balanced reading program, but it’s not just something that’s only for school. The best way for children to improve as readers is to read, and making reading a regular part of your routine at home and school is one of the easiest ways to help children grow as independent and confident readers. Seeing Mom, Dad, and other loved ones dropping everything and reading too, helps children to learn about the enjoyment that comes with making reading an important activity in your life.
In honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, April 12th is celebrated as National Drop Everything and Read Day. Libraries, schools and book stores often host D.E.A.R. events but you can also celebrate at home or with friends – just make some time on Saturday to read.
Click here to have a look at the official D.E.A.R. website. You will find more information about Beverly Cleary, recommended books for D.E.A.R. and a range of resources you can download and print out. Here at the library we are always happy to recommend titles and you’ll find many Beverly Cleary titles on our shelves.
Do you have a favorite Beverly Cleary title or character? We’d love to hear about it. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note on our Facebook page.
Right…I am off to join Ramona and D.E.A.R!