25 Beverly Cleary Quotes from the Children’s Author

If you enjoy children’s literature you will love our Beverly Cleary quotes from the renowned author.

Over 91 million of Cleary’s books have been sold, making her one of history’s most successful American authors.

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, in 1916 and died in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in 2021 at the age of 104.

Cleary had her first book published in 1950 titled Henry Huggins.

Some of her best-known books and series include:

  • Ramona
  • Henry Huggins
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Many of her stories take place in Portland, Oregon, where she grew up, and she was one of the first authors to incorporate emotional realism into her characters.

Cleary went on to win many awards and even has a public school in Portland named after her.

Take a look at these Beverly Cleary Quotes to learn more about this successful author.

The Best Beverly Cleary Quotes

Check out some of the best Beverly Cleary quotes.

1. “Children want to do what grownups do.” — Beverly Cleary

2. “I write in longhand on yellow legal pads.” — Beverly Cleary

3. “I just wrote about childhood as I had known it.” — Beverly Cleary

4. “I was an only child; I didn’t have a sister or sisters.” — Beverly Cleary

5. “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” — Beverly Cleary

6. “I don’t ever go on the Internet. I don’t even know how it works.” — Beverly Cleary

7. “Writers are good at plucking out what they need here and there.” — Beverly Cleary

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8. “I had a very wise mother. She always kept books that were my grade level in our house.” — Beverly Cleary

9. “I hope children will be happy with the books I’ve written and go on to be readers all of their lives.” — Beverly Cleary

10. “I think adults sometimes don’t think about how children are feeling about the adult problems.” — Beverly Cleary

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Beverly Cleary Quotes About Books and Writing

Bookworms will enjoy these Beverly Cleary quotes about writing and books.

11. “Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school.” — Beverly Cleary

12. “My favorite books are a constantly changing list, but one favorite has remained constant: the dictionary.” — Beverly Cleary

13. “Quite often somebody will say, What year do your books take place? and the only answer I can give is, in childhood.” — Beverly Cleary

14. “In seventh grade…I found a place on the [library]shelf where my book would be if I ever wrote a book, which I doubted.” — Beverly Cleary

15. “I feel, sometimes that in children’s books, there are more and more grim problems, but I don’t know that I want to burden third- and fourth-graders with them.” — Beverly Cleary

16. “I don’t necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that’s most vivid in my imagination and work forward and backward from there.” — Beverly Cleary

17. “My mother always kept library books in the house, and one rainy Sunday afternoon – this was before television, and we didn’t even have a radio – I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered I was reading and enjoying what I read.” — Beverly Cleary

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Beverly Cleary Quotes About Her Life

Take a look at these Beverly Cleary quotes about her life.

18. “I thought like Ramona, but I was a very well-behaved little girl.” — Beverly Cleary

19. “Mitch and Amy is modeled after my own children, but I found it difficult to write when the characters were running around the house.” — Beverly Cleary

20. “I’d really like to have dinner with all of [my characters] if they chewed with their mouths shut and sat up straight and minded their manners.” — Beverly Cleary

23. “I’ve been surprised at the number of young men that I have heard from who said that they had never liked to read until they discovered my books.” — Beverly Cleary

22. “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.” — Beverly Cleary

23. “I don’t really think of my stories as taking place in any particular time. However, they do take place in a real neighborhood in which I grew up and which I still visit.: — Beverly Cleary

24. “When I was in grammar school, I sometimes felt that school didn’t want us to read because there were long questions after everything we read, and we had to write book reviews and give the theme of the book.” — Beverly Cleary

25. “When I was writing Henry Huggins, it occurred to me that all the children appeared to be only children. I thought I should put somebody else in, so I was starting to put in a little sister, and someone called out to a neighbor who was named Ramona, so I just called Beezus’s little sister Ramona.” — Beverly Cleary

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More About Cleary’s Life

Beverly Cleary was told that she should be a children’s writer by the time she was in the sixth grade.

She went to college and earned two degrees, then worked as a librarian.

She married her husband Clarence Cleary in 1940, and they had twins Malcolm and Marianne.

Please share these Beverly Cleary Quotes with your friends and family and post any comments about Cleary in the comment section below.

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