Cleary spent her early childhood in a small town in Oregon with no library and didn't learn to read until second grade.
It wasn't until her family moved to Portland that Cleary became a solid reader. Her school librarian suggested that she become a writer, and Cleary's path was set. She wanted to write about kids like the ones she knew in her own neighborhood, and so she created the characters so many of us grew up getting to know. Continue the article here.