WE CANT SEE CLEARY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE
Children’s author Beverly Cleary has died aged 104. In her childhood she had struggled to read and viewed the books her schools lumped on her as not having any people she knew in real life in them. In the 1950s, she set about writing stories about the sorts of worlds 1950s kids would recognise as their own. She wrote about Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, and spun off into a successful series about his neighbour, Ramona. She published her last book in 1999. Clearly revolutionised childrens novels in the US, turning them from the staid old Victoriana into the normal kid next door has adventures plots you can recognise all over American media nowadays. In this way she set the path for everything in her wake from Cubs at Play to Stranger Things. Modern greats like RL Stine and Judy Blume called Cleary their inspiration. So it is perhaps a bit ironic that the childrens librarian once pointed to the Ramona books as a suitable friendly alternative to the Goosebumps series. If you live long enough, everything subversive and new becomes an accepted part of the old tradition. Look forward to Twilight being recommended instead of that new rubbish by school teachers in 50 years time… Beverly Cleary was picked by 25 teams, including Dead and Dusted, eejit, LFN PLC and Pearly Gates.
12 April 1916 – 25 March 2021