The Dell Yearling paperback version of Ramona Quimby, Age 8

How Beverly Cleary Encouraged a Generation of Unapologetic Women

As it happens when we lose any larger-than-life cultural figure, we knew this day would come, but it still hurts. Even though she lived to the advanced age of 104, it feels too soon to let Beverly Cleary go.

But let go we must — and with grace and gratitude for the journey she took us on since she introduced audiences to the precociously independent Ramona Quimby in the 1950 classic Henry Huggins. Quimby would go on to be Cleary’s best-known character and, for many a square-peg-in-a-round-hole girl, a personal touchstone…

Driving into the New Year

December has a way of breaking your heart while simultaneously giving you hope. Even now, as the new year is well underway, December reverberates in the soul. It should be done, December. But the leftovers of it hang on like the last holiday cookie you can’t bear to throw out. Still there, crumbly in the depths of the cookie tin of your mind.

There is a beautiful dichotomy of pain and joy in every December. Pain in remembering holidays past that didn’t live up to expectations. In tragedies that sting more because they occur in a month that is supposed…

Jen Dorsey

Editor, writer, book pusher, political junkie. Hoosier by birth, Illinoisan by necessity, Californian at heart.

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