Thursday, January 21, 2021

Beverly Cleary Author Study

From December 2019 to April 2020, I did an informal author study of Judy Blume. I say informal because I didn't take notes or share posts about it here. I read her books, most being re-reads I remembered from childhood because I was taking her MasterClass and wanted to be reading her stories as I listened to her lessons. 

I had previously done a stricter Roald Dahl author study, which is still incomplete. I re-read many of his books, which I again remembered from childhood. But I also read his short stories for adults and then watched the television adaptations made for a series called Tales of the Unexpected. The author study kind of morphed into comparing written stories to the show versions, but it was still a lot of fun. I want to come back to Dahl and finish reading all of his works, since I've never read his books for adults, and still have a lot of short stories to read.

But I wanted to boost Beverly Cleary to the top of my list. After celebrating her birthday last April, soon after finishing my Judy Blume study, I decided that Cleary would be next. I wanted to get all of her books before she died and they became expensive or hard to find (I know, that's so morbid, but it was on my mind). I started collecting copies of the books I didn't own - thankfully my mom had kept most of my paperbacks, so I only had to track down titles I honestly had no idea she'd written, like Leave It to Beaver books.

After acquiring them all, I was ready to begin. But then... the news. I spent more time doom scrolling than I did reading. It was bad, and I knew Beverly Cleary's light-hearted books would be a good rescue from that, but also I didn't want to taint the books by associating them with that period of time.

But now, with a change in leadership and tentatively allowing myself to feel hope, it seems like a wonderful time to dive into Beverly Cleary's books. This project is partially just because I love Cleary and want to read her books, but my reviews might analyze her writing style or stories. I'm kind of just having fun with it and letting it guide me where it wants to go.

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