Happy 103rd birthday to Beverly Cleary, best selling author with some 90 million+ books sold! Wow! I want to be like her when I grow up!

Here’s how I relate an important stage in my daughter’s life to Cleary’s legacy of these types of children’s books…

Just as important as reading is to one’s longevity, WRITING–whether novels, poems, journals, blogs, screenplays, song lyrics, white papers, etc–is a tremendous catalyst to longevity! Mrs. Cleary is proof.

I loved reading when I was a child. When my children were young, they had library cards probably as soon as they were walking on their own. Especially as a financially struggling single mother, the library was a lifesaver for me. We checked out tons of book and videos every week. During the summer, I tried to get them to the different story-telling events and other activities every time the library offered them.

One of Mrs. Cleary’s first book series, stories about the Quimby sisters, Beezus and Ramona, were among my favorites in elementary school. She published her first one in that series in 1955.

My daughter, Skye, struggled with reading when she was little. I feel ashamed that I didn’t do enough back then to really get to the bottom of what dyslexia was all about. I ignored the signs and kept telling her, “Oh just keep reading more, you’ll get better.” Ugh–how wrong of advice that was! Poor thing dreaded reading in front of the class because she couldn’t make the words out. 🙁  And I just said, “Keep doing it.”

I couldn’t relate to what she was going through, so I unconsciously ignored her frustration. Thank goodness a God-send of a third-grade teacher introduced Skye to a particular series of a book. Can’t think of it right now but it reminds me of these Cleary books. That got her excited about reading and her attitude towards reading changed tremendously from that point on.

Not only did Skye go on to always make the Dean’s List in school but since 6th grade and throughout the life of her elementary school there in Arlington, TX, a plaque hangs on the wall with my daughter’s name as Citizen of the Year for her excellence in academics and being an all-around good classmate and student.

READING IS FUNDAMENTAL! Hmmm, never recognized that word “mental” in there before but to help ward off mental issues later in life, I’m sure cultivating a love of reading would be a good strategy to implement.

Writerfully yours,

Terri 

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