Remembering Beverly Cleary

There are few writers quite like Beverly Cleary. A librarian during the 1940s, she noted that publishing companies weren’t producing books that highlighted the children who were reading them. Her response? Write them herself. Ultimately, she produced over forty books and introduced readers of all ages to characters like Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, and Ralph S. Mouse. Today, it’s hard to imagine a library bookshelf without the name Cleary on prominent display.

Cleary died on Thursday at the age of 104 and, while it’s an incredibly sad day, I take comfort in the many stories she left us—each reminds us of her brilliance.

For this First Line Friday, I’d like to celebrate her work by going all the way back to the boy, the dog, and the book that started it all back in 1950.

Henry Huggins was in the third grade. His hair looked like a scrubbing brush and most of his grown-up front teeth were in. He lived with his mother and father in a square white house on Klickitat Street. Except for having his tonsils out when he was six and breaking his arm falling out of a cherry tree when he was seven, nothing much happened to Henry.

I wish something exciting would happen, Henry often thought.


Title: Henry Huggins
Series: Henry Huggins #1
Author: Beverly Cleary
Publisher: Morrow
Publication Date: 1950
Classification: Chapter Book

Cleary’s Website | Publisher’s Page | Goodreads


Note: First Line Fridays is a feature hosted by Hoarding Books. Be sure to check out their weekly post to find other participants and some great first lines.

23 Comments

  1. I would always start the school year by reading Henry Huggins. He was an ordinary kid, the kind most people can relate to, and his stories were ordinary stories of doing things around his neighborhood. Beverly Cleary was the first author I learned to find on the library shelves.

    Liked by 2 people

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