Life is messy, and that's what makes it so much fun. This is a mindset we learned as wee little ones with the brilliant influence of Beverly Cleary and her many books to keep us entertained. Her characters were always so unique in the world of children's fiction because they were so, so real. Ramona Quimby was basically a human tornado, leaving chaos and destruction in her wake, but she was also a bottomless pit of curiosity and gumption. Her family faced real issues that ours did when we were growing up and it made dealing with those moments that much easier knowing Ramona had already gone through it herself.
But Ramona wasn't the only hero we met from the mind of Beverly Cleary. She gave us so many more. Beverly Cleary made the world a better place, while still keeping it real. She shaped our younger years with shenanigans cloaked in wisdom, which then made us all better tweens, teens, and eventually responsible adults. We owe her a whole lotta love. Because although the life lessons she shared with us were probably ones that non-fans could've learned anywhere, Cleary's delivery was subtle, beautiful, and made us feel some serious feels.
Here are 11 things all Beverly Cleary fans know to be true:
Chaos Is Always More Fun
Anyone can be neat and tidy, but sometimes you need to embrace your inner messy monster. Whether we're talking about Ramona or Risby the dog, Cleary's characters celebrated their individuality and how they went against the grain.
Haters Gonna Hate
Every Cleary character had to face a bully or doubter at some point, because that's life. Haters are everywhere, and they are definitely gon' hate. But who cares? You have goals, dreams, and sh*t to get done. Don't let them stop you.
Siblings Are the Problem... and the Solution
Ramona and Beezus had a stellar sisterly bond, even when they couldn't stand each other. But every plot twist lead them back to the same notion: they had each other. They could always rely on family to support them and that would never change. If you didn't have siblings, Cleary made you ask Santa for a brother or sister every single Christmas.
Fear Should Never Get in the Way of Living Life
Good ol' Ralph S. Mouse. All he has are his toy motorcycle and his desire to see the world. But as a tiny rodent, everything is scary. Pretty much every breathing creature is a predator poised to attack, but does that keep him from going on his adventures? Oh. Hell. No.
Half Birthdays Are Just as Important as Actual Birthdays
Remember when we all cared so much about half birthdays? Let's bring that back, shall we? Because the day we were brought into this world should absolutely be celebrated more than once per year. That's a subtle nod to the importance of self-love, and we could all use more of it.
Money Absolutely Does Not Grow on Trees
The Quimby clan is a middle class family, and they go through more than one realistic financial setback. But they face it as a family and make whatever sacrifice deemed necessary to keep their kids happy and healthy. Ramona repeating her mother's order to "scrimp and pinch to make ends meet" was equal parts adorable and informative.
There's No Such Thing as "No Girls Allowed"
Oh really, Henry? You think a sign is going to keep Ramona from crashing your boys only clubhouse? Think again. Welcome to the real world, y'all. There are still invisible "No Girls Allowed" signs up in every professional field, and we need to keep crashing the party.
Cursive is Utterly Useless
Muggie Maggie was onto something when she refused to learn how to write in cursive. Is this even still a thing kids learn in school? Because it was SUCH a nightmare for '90s kids. My hand still tenses up at the thought of practicing my cursive Gs over and over. And what did it get me? Zilch. Team Muggie Maggie all the way.
Growing Up Kinda Sucks
Every Cleary character faced the true bummer of aging. When you're a kid, people don't expect responsible decisions and manners and tidiness. But as you get older, it's your duty to start behaving like an adult. Ick. No fun. No fun at all.
A Dog Can Completely Change the Way You See the World
Remember Strider? Oh, I loved that fictional dog. He completely changed Leigh Botts' world and lead him to really fulfilling hobbies. Dogs are the most selfless creatures on Earth and they will teach you life lessons whether or not you're ready to learn them.
You'll Always Have Wonderful, Blunderful You
No matter what happens or who comes in or out of your life. You can always rely on yourself, so be as wonderfully weird as you choose.
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