I just read in the paper, yesterday, that author Beverly Cleary, (Ramona Quimby, Otis Spofford, turned 101 years old!!! Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary! She is one of my favorite children's authors. I appreciate how she realistically portrayed kids' attitudes and actions. I also appreciated the subtle hints she'd include for teachers: the recorded spelling test on a phonograph that was too fast, the day Ramona overheard her teacher calling her a pest, why Ramona refused to write the cursive letter Q, what prompted Otis's unusual behavior, and other gentle admonishments. One humorous memory, we were reading aloud the story about the lab rats in the classroom. This was the same time a new cartoon show was on TV, Pinky and the Brain. When we got to the one rat's name in the story, Pinky, my students started looking at each other and giggling. And then there was The Hard Boiled Egg Fad. Sure enough, the next day at lunch, a student called me over to her table and showed me her mother packed her a hard boiled egg. (I don't think she cracked it on her head like Ramona, though).