My neice is maturing into a nerd just like me. God help her. Lol I have started a new tradition I hope, of sending her at least two books a month. I sent her the first one and she read it in two days. It was a scary book, but a goodie, nonetheless. I have been searching for it for years just because I wanted it in my personal library. Speaking of, I need to bulk that sucker up. Anyways, all I could remember was that there was a female child ghost haunting a girl that moved into a former church with her family and the front page was a map of the house and adjacent cemetery. I remembered that much and that I absolutely loved it...or I think I did. These days you won’t even catch me watching a scary movie, much less read a scary book. Back then I craved them. Goosebumps, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike were favorites. I would ride the city bus to the public library near my house or have my grandpa drop me off at the main library so I could stock up on as many books as possible. Reading was my adventure. Reading was my escape. I fell in love with reading and I have been ever since. So my niece is asking for nothing but scary books but I am leaning more toward my absolute favorites, Beverly Cleary books. I truly loved reading Beverly Cleary books. Strider is still one of my favorite books of all time. I remember trying to read every single one of her books and I may have succeeded give or take one or two. Some of them are impossible to find. I loved Dear Mr. Henshaw so I even wrote Mrs. Cleary a fan letter to show my adoration for her and her books just as Leigh did in Dear Mr. Henshaw, with my school picture enclosed. I gave the letter to my mom, who in turn laughed at me and said that the author was probably dead. She and my father then proceeded to make fun of me for it for about a month or so after telling everyone who would listen. "What is a dead author going to do with a picture of you? How is she going to read your letter?" she would ask sarcastically. Looking back I remember how much it hurt, still does. I feel bad for the young me.
Beverly Cleary is still alive today. She is 94 years young. She might have received my letter had I not thrown the letter with my picture inside of it away that day. I really identified with Leigh from Strider and Dear Mr. Henshaw. Leigh was a child of divorce and hardly got to see his truck driver dad or his mother who worked long hours. Books really were my escape from reality and I wanted to be Ramona or Henry with their perfect nuclear families. Books saved me from my crazy childhood. I kind of want to start collecting all the books and maybe pass them down to my future children because at least one of them will have the bookworm gene I hope. My niece definitely has the gene. I went ahead and sent her a diary and Dear Mr. Henshaw. She is having a tough time with her parents’ divorce and I hope that it helps her as much as possible. I can't wait for her to fall in love with Beverly Cleary books just as I did. My friend Andrew told me to go ahead and send a letter to Beverly Cleary. I think he may be right.
Which Cleary book is your favorite?
Here are some of mine......