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Beverly Cleary on writing for teens

The Story

Beverly Cleary, best known as an author of books for young children, tells how she came to enter the world of the adolescent. In this 1980 excerpt from CBC Radio's Ideas, she tells listeners her objective was to write books about romance with less of an emphasis on the negative realities of sex -- aiming for “true experience, written with a light touch.”  

Broadcast Medium: Radio
Program: Ideas
Broadcast Date: Feb. 14, 1980
Speaker: Beverly Cleary
Duration: 2:24
Photo Credit: Beverly Cleary, 1971, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov, 2016-03-06

Did You know?

• Beverly Cleary was born Apr. 12, 1916, in Oregon. She graduated with a degree in library science and went on to write many popular children's books, including Henry and Ribsy, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  

• She is heard speaking in this excerpt from CBC Radio's Ideas program on the development of adolescent literature. Her other teen novels include Jean and Johnny and Sister of the Bride. The novel Fifteen, which she speaks about here, was a New York Times Outstanding Book in 1956, and won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award in 1958.

• A CBC television interview with Beverly Cleary can be seen here.


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