How Beverly Cleary Fans Sweetly Paid Tribute to the Late Author on Twitter

Photo credit: Chris So - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris So - Getty Images

From ELLE

On Thursday, children's author Beverly Cleary died at 104 years old. The author behind beloved the Ramona series, the Ralph S. Mouse collection, the Henry Huggins books, and more, has been entertaining young readers for generations.

As The New York Times noted in Cleary's obituary, the author was inspired to write children's books that were better than the ones she grew up reading.

"The protagonists tended to be aristocratic English children who had nannies and pony carts, or poor children whose problems disappeared when a long-lost rich relative turned up in the last chapter," the Times wrote.

Photo credit: TIM SLOAN - Getty Images
Photo credit: TIM SLOAN - Getty Images

"I wanted to read funny stories about the sort of children I knew," Cleary wrote in The Horn Book in 1982, "and I decided that someday when I grew up I would write them." When she grew up and became a librarian, she noticed that the offerings for kids were still very much lacking.

The Times reported that a group of boys in the library once asked her, "Where are the books about us?" When she was a child, she had the same reflections.

"'Why didn't authors write books about everyday problems that children could solve by themselves?,' she wondered, as she recalled in her acceptance speech on receiving the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the American Library Association in 1975. 'Why weren't there more stories about children playing? Why couldn't I find more books that would make me laugh? These were the books I wanted to read, and the books I was eventually to write."

Cleary made it her life's work to give children books to which they could actually relate and fully realized characters to which they could aspire.

"It's the kind of writing that enacts its own emotional transformation, carrying the reader through that storm of fury so they can emerge a little better, a little wiser," Kathryn VanArendonk wrote of Cleary's work in Vulture. "As a kid reading it independently, it’s as powerful as the close third person in an Austen novel, enveloping you in Ramona’s emotions and her eventual, longed-for release. But because of my own first experiences with Cleary, and because of how much I have treasured reading her work out loud to my own daughter, I’m especially overwhelmed by what that third person voice does when it’s read aloud by a parent. That direct, firm, Cleary narrative voice pulls us close to Ramona, too. We become her again."

Her readers, who are now adult humans with Twitter accounts, paid tribute to the late author, her books, and the worlds she created.

Through Ramona Quimby, she gave us a feminist icon

Instantly, everyone became really nostalgic

And very thankful

Thank you, Beverly Cleary—from every kid whose best friends were the characters you created for us.

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