I don't know a single person who doesn't love a great children's book. Whether it's diving into the world of monsters and imagination with Maurice Sendak or reading about how kids can change the world with Roald Dahl, everyone loves them. Despite some of the classics being over 50 years old, children's books also seem to stand the test of time, and that's no clearer than when you read through some favorite Beverly Cleary books.
Beverly Cleary's name has been synonymous with growing pains since her first book, Henry Huggins, was published in 1950. That's 68 years of children falling in love with her books, feeling as if they were truly heard, and believing her when her characters turned out alright, despite annoying sisters, parents who lose their jobs, and divorce. Because that's the thing about Cleary's work — she writes in a way that children can relate to. Everyone loves a good fantasy or adventure novel about a boy with magical powers, but to read a story about a kid just like you, one who's struggling in school or one who misses their dad, is real magic. In fact, Cleary's career launched when she was working as a librarian and had a young patron tell her that there weren't any books for "kids like us." She set out to write just those books.
And today, on her 102nd birthday, kids are still falling in love with Cleary's books. It doesn't matter how style has changed or how tablets have taken the place of jacks or how kids can't just ride their bicycles into town anymore — kids are still the same. "In 50 years, the world has changed, especially for kids, but kids' needs haven't changed," Cleary said. Her books are still relatable, they are still needed, and more than ever, they need to be lining your kids' shelves. So here are nine Beverly Cleary books that have clearly stood the test of time.