Beverly Cleary My Own Two Feet

ISBN 13: 9780688142674

My Own Two Feet

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9780688142674: My Own Two Feet
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The New Yorker said of the first volume of Beverly Cleary's memoirs, "It is a warm, honest book, as interesting as any novel, and describes the growing-up process with remarkable clarity and candor." Now the creator of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins writes of her early adulthood with humor and insight, making Beverly Cleary's own story as lively and irresistible as any of her novels.

In 1934, Beverly Bunn left home to attend college in California, which she imagined as the land of orange groves and movie stars, far removed from the hardships of the Depression. As a young woman who 11 was sure where she wanted to go but did not know if she could find the money to get there," she juggled studies of Chaucer and French grammar with the many chores that came with life in a student cooperative house. She also found time to eat a bacon and tomato sandwich with a quiet young man named Clarence Cleary.

Work as a librarian brought her into contact with all sorts of youngsters, from the children of the unemployed to the offspring of doctors and lawyers. But it was the children who built scooters out of apple boxes and roller skates who truly inspired her. They asked, "Where are the books about kids like us?" and the young librarian responded with her first book, about a boy named Henry who had a dog named Spareribs-later changed to Ribsy.

Told with the deep understanding of human nature that has made her books beloved by three generations of readers, My Own Two Feet is a lively, unforgettable look at the early years of a woman whose books speak directly to the hearts and imaginations of children everywhere.

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About the Author:

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, Oregon, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children's books when she grew up.

Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, "Where are the books about kids like us?" she remembered her teacher's encouragement and was inspired to write the books she'd longed to read but couldn't find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. Dear Mr. Henshaw won the Newbery Medal, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.

From Booklist:

Gr. 7 and up. Cleary begins the second part of her autobiography where A Girl from Yamhill (1988) ends, as she is about to depart for college. Much of Cleary's success as a writer comes from her ability to write so honestly. She almost never makes a misstep, and that's as true here as it is in her fiction. The language is plain, but the images evoked are vivid, and Cleary ably creates a portrait of an era as well as of herself. As she did in the previous volume, she writes quite candidly of her relationships. She does not sugarcoat her relationship with her mother, and the keen eye for human nature that has served her so well over the years is put to good use here as she describes family members, co-workers, and cohorts. Of course, there is a question of audience. In addition to Cleary's college years, this memoir covers the courting and wedding of Beverly and Clarence Cleary and her work as a librarian during World War II. The book's most appreciative audience will be several generations of adults who have grown up with Cleary's books, but there's certainly a place for this on youth shelves as well. Older kids will find it a welcome change in the biography section. For one thing, it's so much better written than many titles found there; for another, the subject is much better loved. Ilene Cooper

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780380727469: My Own Two Feet: A Memoir

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0380727463 ISBN 13:  9780380727469
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1996
Softcover

9780606102643: My Own Two Feet: A Memoir

Demco ..., 1996
Library Binding

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Cleary, Beverly
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