Drop Everything and Read!
Fauquier librarians urge families on April 12 to “Drop Everything and Read,” a nationwide initiative to put aside all distractions for at least 30 minutes and enjoy a book together. D.E.A.R. Day is celebrated annually on children’s author Beverly Cleary’s birthday.
Cleary, who introduced the first D.E.A.R. Day in her book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, died on March 28 at the age of 104, making this year’s event especially significant.
As a children’s librarian, Cleary understood the difference reading could make in a youngster’s life.
She wanted to entice reluctant readers with books that did not feature “aristocratic English children who had nannies and pony carts, or poor children whose problems disappeared when a long-lost rich relative turned up in the last chapter.”
Cleary set out to write funny stories about the sort of children she knew growing up in Portland, Oregon. In all of her books, she wrote about the everyday trials and tribulations of an American middle-class childhood.
Since 1950, she has enthralled boys and girls with her tales of Ralph S. Mouse, a small brown mouse with a toy motorcycle. She wrote about Klickitat Street where Henry Huggins had a paper route and a dog named Ribsy. She created Ramona Quimby, a spunky little girl with a penchant for mischief.
Ninety-one million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Many are award winning, including a National Book Award and the Newbery Medal, given annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Cleary herself received the National Medal of Arts in 2003.
So, join us on April 12 to honor Cleary and her priceless gift to generations of children.
Take 30 minutes out of your day to dive into a good book with your child.
The library has lots to choose from, including, of course, Cleary’s tales of Klickitat Street.
Maria Del Rosso
Director, Fauquier Public Library