I just (literally just) found out that Beverly Cleary is still alive. And 101 years old.

I read a lot of Cleary’s books when I was a girl. The Ramona Quimby series of books was wonderful. A young girl, considered a pest by her older sister (Beezus) and her sister’s friend (Henry Higgins), insisted on being part of the action.

I’ll admit I don’t remember extreme details, but my childhood was a long time ago, so forgive me. But I remember Ramona. Ramona the Brave (also the title of one of the Ramona books) – a girl who followed her heart and messed up and got over it. She was a completely relatable little girl for a little girl to read about.

It’s important to be able to read books about characters that make sense. Few series were more relatable to me than her – I can only think of The Great Brain and the All-of-a-Kind Family as others that drew me in as much, but both of those were based in time frames long before I was born. Ramona was of my time.

The thought that such a lovely woman – who brought these delightful characters to life in the mind of a young, bookish girl – is still alive and kicking at 101 brought a smile to my face today when I saw my friend Arianny Pilarte post about it on Facebook today. Beverly Cleary’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time, but Ramona Quimby’s name immediately jumped to mind.

So, a special shout-out to Beverly and a thanks to Arianny for letting me know she’s still alive.

Here’s to lovely surprises.

Photo of the Ramona Quimby statue by Janet Lackey via Flickr Creative Commons.

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