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A Girl from Yamhill


A Girl from Yamhill Cover

ISBN13: 9780380727407
ISBN10: 0380727404
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Generations of children have grown up with Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. For everyone who has enjoyed the pranks and schemes, embarrassing moments, and all of the other poignant and colorful images of childhood brought to life in Beverly Cleary books, here is the fascinating true story of the remarkable woman who created them.


"The author sees her child self with the same clarity and objectivity as she has seen her fictional characters." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


"Readers will find here not only a candid revelation of afavorite author but a fascinatingly detailed picture of Oregon in the '20s and '30s. Beautifully written." Kirkus Review


Follows the popular children's author from her childhood years in Oregon through high school and into young adulthood, highlighting her family life and her growing interest in writing.

About the Author

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school’s low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.

By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.

When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, "From my own experience and from the world around me." She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in "Drop Everything and Read" activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.

Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.

Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished. HarperCollins Children’s Books recently announced that the film option for Cleary’s classic book character, Ramona Quimby, had been sold to Fox 2000 and Denise DiNovi Productions. In addition, Portland, Oregon has proudly created The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, in the park where Beverly used to play.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, May 3, 2011 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Beverly Cleary is known and loved for her books that appeal to young readers. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and The Mouse and the Motorcycle are just two of the titles that have remained popular through multiple generations.

In her memoir, A Girl from Yamhill, Cleary talks about her early life, first on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon, then in Portland. Cleary was an only child, and her stories of small town life are punctuated by the adults she spent most of her time with�"her parents, her grandparents, and the characters that lived in the town of Yamhill.

In Portland, Cleary enters grade school and finally has other children to play with. Her tales of growing up in the 1920s, then living through the early years of The Great Depression, are full of rich details that are sure to fascinate both young (ages 12 and up) readers and adults about this time in the past.

Cleary’s memories of school and teachers should provide great conversations between moms and daughters about what education was like in the early part of the last century, versus what parents today experienced, compared to what current students encounter. Cleary’s relationship with her parents is also good for discussion as a look at how parents communicated with children then and now.

A Girl from Yamhill is not a thrilling read; instead it’s a delightful meander through the people and times that were important to Cleary. It’s also a revealing look at lifestyle differences between her era and ours, and it gives insight into events that sparked her desire to be a writer. I thoroughly enjoyed it., and I recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs.
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ktengberg, March 8, 2009 (view all comments by ktengberg)
I was 9 years old living in Carmel, California when I met Beverly Cleary.
I worked in the library at my local elementary school and was delighted when our school librarian chose me to have lunch with Mrs. Cleary.
I had read and reread all of her books, but was especially fond of Ramona age 8. What a delightful lady she was. I remember we had lunch in Carmel at the Pine Inn, where guests and celebrities alike could take their dogs into the restaurant. It was one of the highlights of my life.
I am wondering if Mrs. Cleary is still alive. I think she would be almost 93?
I visit often here in Portland and think about her every time I pass over Klickatat Street. I also know of the park with the characters and the Beverly Cleary Center nearby.

Kathleen Tweedy Engberg
Now 56...and still love reading her books...especially to my grandson!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Cleary, Beverly
by Beverly Cleary
New York :
Children's fiction
Social life and customs
Children's 9-12 - Biography / Autobiography
Biography & Autobiography - Literary
Biography & Autobiography - General
Lifestyles - Farm Life
Authors, American
Social Situations - Abuse
Lifestyles - Farm & Ranch Life
Biography & Autobiography : Literary
Situations / Adolescence
Authors, American -- 20th century.
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 to 7
7.50x5.32x.97 in. .51 lbs.
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Authors and Illustrators » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Nonfiction » Farm
Children's » Nonfiction » World Cultures
Children's » Pacific Northwest » Young Adult Fiction
Children's » People and Cultures
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Teen Issues

A Girl from Yamhill New Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages HarperTrophy - English 9780380727407 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The author sees her child self with the same clarity and objectivity as she has seen her fictional characters."
"Review" by , "Readers will find here not only a candid revelation of afavorite author but a fascinatingly detailed picture of Oregon in the '20s and '30s. Beautifully written."
"Synopsis" by , Follows the popular children's author from her childhood years in Oregon through high school and into young adulthood, highlighting her family life and her growing interest in writing.
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