Blog Post – What Would Beverly Cleary Think?
Did your children ever read the Ralph S. Mouse, Henry Huggins or Ramona books? Well, turns out the author, Beverly Cleary, is still alive and at 103 is living in a retirement home in California!
As a first grader she had trouble with reading and was placed in the class’s low reading group. By the third grade she had conquered reading and, as an only child, spent much of her time visiting the public library and reading. Her school librarian suggested 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.”
After high school she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of California Berkeley, where she met her future husband, Clarence Cleary. In 1939 she graduated from the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington with a Master’s Degree in library science. Upon graduation she accepted a year-long position as a children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington.
After several frustrating years of trying to find books with characters the children patrons of the library could identify with, Cleary decided to start writing children’s books about characters that young readers could relate to. Cleary said, “I believe in that ‘missionary spirit’ among children’s librarians. Kids deserve books of literary quality, and librarians are so important in encouraging them to read and selecting books that are appropriate.”
Wisely she has said, “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no.”
Can you imagine what today’s TV producers would do to Ramona, Henry and their friends and family members!
Beverly McCleary’s book have earned many prestigious awards including the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively. In 1975 the American Library Association (ALA) awarded her the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.
It should be noted here that in 2018 the Board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. ALA President Jim Neal and ALSC President Nina Lindsay released the following joint statement:
“Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books have been and will continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers. Although Wilder’s work holds a significant place in the history of children’s literature and continues to be read today, ALSC has had to grapple with the inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness through an award that bears Wilder’s name.
“Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities . . . . ”
In 2000, to honor her invaluable contribution to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress.
Publisher HarperCollins recognizes Cleary’s birthday, April 12, as National Drop Everything and Read Day (DEAR), in promotion of sustained silent reading. Wonder how many of today’s schools observe DEAR with real books and not computer screens??
Now compare Beverly Cleary’s books to today’s authors of pro-LGBTQ books. There is no doubt the children are being targeted for propaganda. These authors have an agenda and see the children as pliable and easily influenced through pro-LGBT “children’s books” and books that normalize sexual activity of every kind for every age!
The ALA, which awarded Beverly Cleary the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, has become so left leaning that it would probably not even consider her books as worthy of consideration. The ALA has a “Rainbow Book List” which lists the best works of fiction and non-fiction books for LGBTQ teens. It has a resource guide for parents and families of kids who identify as LGBTQ.
The ALA also has a Rainbow Round Table.
And we all know the ALA is fully supportive of Drag Queen Story Hours at local public libraries.
Here’s some info from the Library Bill of Rights:
Article I of the Library Bill of Rights states that “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. “The association affirms that books and other materials coming from presses that specialize in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender subject matter; gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender authors or other creators; and materials regardless of format or services dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender life are protected by the Library Bill of Rights. Librarians are obligated by the Library Bill of Rights to endeavor to select materials without regard to the sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation of their creators by using the criteria identified in their written, approved selection policies.
Article V holds that “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.” Therefore, Article V of the Library Bill of Rights mandates that library services, materials, and programs be available to all members of the community the library serves, without regard to sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This includes providing youth with comprehensive sex education literature.
No, we can no longer trust the American Library Association! Can we trust our local librarians?
The purpose of this blog post is to take a look at the wholesome authors and books of just a few decades ago to those of modern children’s books – zeroing in on the much-acclaimed103 year-old Beverly Cleary. Deborah DeGroff has written Between the Covers: What’s Inside a Children’s Book? The forward to the book was written by DeGroff’s daughter, Ashley Gill, who notes, “When she spells out what is being published for children, some of this will disgust, repulse and anger you. Some will look at what she has recorded and recoil in horror that my mother had the nerve to put these excerpts in her book. They will refuse to read this book that has such profane content within its pages. Nonetheless, these books are already published, awarded, and marketed to and for your children.” The book delves into not only the obscene content in modern day “children’s books” (including specific examples/language from the books,) but also the dumbing down of our nation’s children, the changing of reading levels, the controlled vocabulary found within these books, the creation of student activists and much more.
As the new year begins, why not consider becoming better educated on the dangers found in the books that are being peddled to our children. Please consider obtaining a copy of Deborah DeGroff’s book! Your eyes will be opened to what is really being presented to parents as “children’s books.” Parents should NEVER assume a book found in the library or in the Scholastic Reading order forms given to kids in school are appropriate!