Beverly Cleary shares her childhood up through high school graduation in the first installment of her autobiography. She includes a lot of historical information about her pioneer ancestors. When she wrote about her early childhood on the farm, I could see where a lot of Emily's Runaway Imagination came from.
These memories reminded me a lot of my maternal grandmother, too. She grew up on a farm and was close to the same age as Cleary. We had read some Cleary books together, including Emily's Runaway Imagination, so I had my grandmother's memories going through my head as I read this book. It made for a very cozy experience.
Cleary's story is touching and real and interesting. She is very honest about her childhood and her relationship with her mother. As she grew into a teenager, I could see where some of the subject matter for her YA books came from as well. Her writing style in this book is just as natural as it is in her fiction books.