Why Beverly Cleary?

henry hugginsBeverly Cleary celebrated her 100th birthday this year, and although many of her books were published decades ago, they still remain popular and relevant to young readers.

Why should a kid want to read Beverly Cleary? As the mom of two Beverly Cleary experts, 5-year-old Travis and 7-year-old Kivrin, I can attest that Beverly Cleary’s books aren’t outdated at all.

Why is Beverly Cleary such a good writer for kids?

Travis: All the kids like her books. Everybody likes them. Maybe she thought of the future when she wrote these.

Why listen to the audiobooks?

Mom: The Ramona Quimby audiobooks are narrated by actress Stockard Channing. The Henry Huggins audiobooks are voiced by actor Neil Patrick Harris. The audiobooks bring the characters to life, especially for younger children who can’t yet read the books themselves.

I asked the kids to tell me about some of their favorite characters and scenes.

Ramona Quimby Audio CollectionRamona

Travis: I don’t have a favorite part in Ramona, I like the whole thing!

Kivrin: My favorite part is when Ramona is trying to get her dad out of smoking and she hangs up signs and he tears them down.

Travis: That part is hilarious.

Henry and Beezus

Travis: Well, they’re really good friends and Henry likes to come over to Beezus’s house and plays checkers but Ramona always messes it up.

Henry and Ribsy by Beverly ClearyRibsy

Kivrin: When Ribsy gets carried up the current is my favorite part.


Kivrin: When the baby Charles Williams locks his mother out of his room and starts messing up everything and tearing up the wallpaper and his crib and spilling his milk. That’s my favorite.

Travis: He blocks off the door and starts playing with Socks.

Ralph S. Mouse

Travis: My favorite is where the cat nearly gets him – and the cat doesn’t get distracted when the watch is lost and squeezes all the way in!

Kivrin: We keep having all the same favorite parts!

mitch and amy by Beverly ClearyMitch and Amy

Travis: Mitch is my favorite – I like when Mitch stands up to Allen and fights him.

Kivrin: I like when Amy and her friend Bonnie play pioneers.

Where can you find Beverly Cleary books?

We checkout and download the audiobooks on my smartphone using the Hoopla app from the library. We listen together on car trips and at bedtime. My daughter was pleasantly surprised to discover one of the same stories she heard as an audiobook was already on our bookshelves at home, when she spotted my childhood paperback copy of Ellen Tebbits from my own childhood.

Beverly Cleary books are available from the library in print, as Books on CD, and as digital ebooks and eaudiobooks. Visit tscpl.bibliocommons.com and tscpl.org/downloads.

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, Community Novel Project leader, HUSH podcaster, and frequent library customer. She reads a new book every few days, but recently enjoyed Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.