Follow these links for up-to-date information about Beverly Cleary and how her publisher is celebrating her birthday.

National “Drop Everything and Read” Day
April 12, 2006, has been proclaimed National “Drop Everything and Read” (D.E.A.R.) Day. It is an initiative to encourage families to designate at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together…to make it a special time to “drop everything and read.” The 90th birthday of Newbery Award-winning author Beverly Cleary is the official national D.E.A.R. day, and Cleary’s most popular book character, Ramona Quimby, is the program’s official spokesperson.

In celebration of D.E.A.R. Day, the National Education Association (NEA) and the NEA Foundation, with support from HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks, is offering a funding opportunity called the D.E.A.R. Bookshelf. This program awards $250 for classroom, school, and public libraries to enrich book collections and offer titles that kids will want to drop everything for and read! The deadline for applications, available at, is March 24, 2006.
To request National D.E.A.R. materials for programming in libraries, write to