"You always remember your first." This sentiment is particularly true for readers, because who can't remember the first fictional characters to whisk them away on wild adventures? From Laura Ingels Wilder's frontier-taming sisters, to Beverly Cleary's incorrigible Ramona, Beezus and Henry, these classic characters will always have a place on our bookshelves and in our hearts.
In a recent interview with The Atlantic, beloved children's author Beverly Cleary discussed her career, famous characters, including the indomnitable Ramona, and the way that her young readers have both changed and stayed the same even though children of the digital age seem to grow up faster and faster.
Despite having touched so many children's hearts and minds with her characters, the author told The Atlantic that she never had an agenda. She says, "I just wrote about childhood as I had known it." And in the process her stories helped more than one generation navigate the challenges of growing up.
First appearing in 1950, Ramona has been a beloved children's heroine for over 60 years. These days young readers can enjoy the antics of Ramona both on the page and off of it. Just last year the classic tales were re-imagined in film Ramona and Beezus, with Joey King playing Ramona and Selena Gomez as Beezus.
So what's next for Ms. Cleary? The venerable author is going into retirement, but her books will live on and her words and wisdom will not be forgotten, "I hope children will be happy with the books I've written, and go on to be readers all of their lives."