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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday - First Chapter - First Paragraph - A Girl From Yamhill



Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading.  This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary.  I'm sure you know who Beverly Cleary is - the wonderful creator of such characters as Ramona Quimby and her sister, Beezus - of Henry Huggins - of Ralph S. Mouse.  She also wrote several YA books that I loved as a young teen - Fifteen and The Luckiest Girl particularly.  This prolific author turned 100 years old earlier this year.  Amazing!  A Girl From Yamhill is a memoir telling of her early life in Oregon.  See what you think:



Mother and I stand on the weathered and warped back steps looking up at my father, who sits, tall and handsome in work clothes, astride a chestnut horse.  To one side lie the orchard and a path leading under the horse chestnut tree, past a black walnut and a peach-plum tree, to the privy.  On the other side are the woodshed, the icehouse, and the cornfield, and beyond, a field of wheat.  The horse obstructs my vision of the path to the barnyard, the pump house with its creaking windmill, the chicken coop, smokehouse, machine shed, and the big red barn, but I know they are there.

Mother holds a tin box that once contained George Washington tobacco and now holds my father's lunch.  She hands it to him, and as he leans down to take it, she says 'I'll be so glad when this war is over and we can have some decent bread again.'

My father rides off in the sunshine to oversee the Old Place, land once owned by one of my great-grandfathers.  I wave, sad to see my father leave, if only for a day.


Blurb:

Generations of children have read Beverly Cleary’s books. From Ramona Quimby to Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse to Ellen Tebbits, she has created an evergreen body of work based on the humorous tales and heartfelt anxieties of middle graders. But in A Girl from Yamhill, Beverly Cleary tells a more personal story—her story—of what adolescence was like. In warm but honest detail, Beverly describes life in Oregon during the Great Depression, including her difficulties in learning to read, and offers a slew of anecdotes that were, perhaps, the inspiration for some of her beloved stories.

For everyone who has enjoyed the pranks and schemes, embarrassing moments, and all of the other poignant and colorful images of childhood brought to life in Beverly Cleary’s books, here is the fascinating true story of the remarkable woman who created them.

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This lovely author has also written a second memoir entitled My Own Two Feet that tells of her life in college to the publication of her first book.  My life was certainly touched by her writing and my daughter's as well.  I tip my hat to Beverly Cleary, the girl from Yamhill, Oregon.

26 comments:

  1. I didn't realise she was that old - yes this sounds like a wonderful read, a great pick, and what better way to get a real sense of a time in history than through the eyes of an accomplished author.

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    1. Yes, I'm finding that several of my most favorite authors of my youth have lived to very great ages. And were writing well into their older years.

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  2. I love the intro here thought I'm not sure if it's my type of book. I would read it though because I feel like I was in place as soon as I started reading if that makes sense.

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    1. I love Oregon, so that caught my eye, plus I love this author's stories. A win all around for me.

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  3. My daughter read all her books but, not sure about this one for me.

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    1. I was attracted to the Oregon setting initially. We'll see how the book goes as I get into it.

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  4. Wow! She is an icon, isn't she? I might look for this one!

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    1. She is indeed. 100! I've found several authors from my youth have lived to very great ages. Creativity keeps you young? Maybe.

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  5. Wasn't aware of this one--thanks for sharing! She's such a beloved author across age groups.

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    1. She is indeed. She's touched a lot of lives.

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  6. I loved her books, and my children too. My kids named their hamster Ralph, after Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse :)

    So many good memories stirred up thinking about this wonderful author. I will certainly think about looking for this or her next memoir. Keeping busy with what you love seems to help with a long life. Just look at Betty White, too!

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    1. Betty White - indeed! Some of these 'elders' are truly amazing!

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  7. I thought I'd read everything there was to read by Beverly Cleary. I'm so glad to hear of these two memoirs. I'm off to find them.

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    1. Yes, I had heard of this one a long time ago and then forgot about it. Ran across something about it recently and was charmed.

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  8. While I did not read her books as a child, my granddaughters did. I love author memoirs, so I am intrigued by this story. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Yes, I think many of our children were touched by her books.

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  9. I think I will try to read that. I read all her children's books: the Ramona and Henry Huggins books. I like autobiographies/biographies as well as mysteries.

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    1. This does sound good, doesn't it?

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  10. Oh this sounds like a must read for all fans of the Ramona books. I loved those!

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  11. I love her work so much. How different life was when she was born - three years after my mother.

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    1. Yes, a different way of life. Just a decade before my mother. :-)

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!