Jean and Johnny
By Beverly Cleary
(HarperCollins, Paperback, 9780380728053, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 1996
Other Editions of This Title: Prebound
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Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . .This high-school story, which is both funny and touching, is about a girl who lacks self-confidence, and a boy who has too much.
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.