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Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary’s Portland


foster_walking with RamonaIf you’re planning a trip to Portland, Oregon, and you are a Beverly Cleary super-fan, be sure to pack this little guidebook. Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary’s Portland (Microcosm Publishing, coming October 2016) is a walking (or cycling) tour of Ramona-land and an interesting history of the city (before Kyle MacLachlan was the fake mayor). Five chapters take you on a tour of Cleary-centric neighborhoods, including where Beverly grew up — her house, school, neighborhood library; and the places where Ramona, Beezus, and Henry lived and played (not actually on Klickitat street! Though that is a real street and the tour takes you there, too: “When Beverly wrote her first book, she borrowed the characters from kids she knew on Hancock Street but changed the street name to Klickitat because she liked the knitting-needle sound of it”). Much of the Cleary-specific info can be found in her autobiography, The Girl from Yamhill, but those biographical details are well woven here into a larger fabric of Portland history.

There are lots of photos and practical advice (“Find public restrooms in the Hollywood library”) along with an eating and shopping guide (mostly local wares and non-chain establishments, natch) and an index. A list of “Portland-based books by Beverly Cleary” and one of “Selected Portland Reference Works” encourage further reading. Oh, and also, we are reminded, when visiting these places, don’t be a pest — lucky people actually live in Beverly Cleary’s childhood homes.

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary! For more, click the tag Beverly Cleary at 100.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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