Publication Date: May 1, 1991
What's all the fuss about?
At first, Maggie is just being contrary when she tells her parents she doesn't need to learn cursive. Then her teacher, Mrs. Leeper, says Maggie's cursive is so untidy her name looks like "Muggie," and Maggie decides she will never, never read or write cursive. Nobody can make her. But when Mrs. Leeper appoints Maggie class mail messenger, the notes Maggie must carry are in cursive. Maggie can't read the notes, but she suspects some of them are about her. Now she really has a problem!
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, 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. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have also 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.