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D.E.A.R. Day, April 12th

D.E.A.R. stands for "Drop Everything and Read," a national celebration of reading designed to remind families to make reading a priority activity in their lives.

Beverly Cleary

Reading Rockets is pleased to be a founding partner of National D.E.A.R. Day celebrated every year on April 12th. That's the birthday of beloved author Beverly Cleary, whose characters Ramona and older sister Beezus are now favorites of a new generation of readers.On this day, families are encouraged to take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together. What will you be reading?

Why I love Beverly Cleary

Author/illustrator Cece Bell (El Deafo) tells us why Cleary's books have meant so much to her since she was a young girl.

Beverly Cleary answers your questions!

Have you ever wanted to ask author Beverly Cleary a question about her much-loved books, the vivid characters she created, or her life as a writer? We asked our readers and you responded with more than 500 entries, and we selected about a baker's dozen for Mrs. Cleary to answer. Listen in as Mrs. Cleary talks about her favorite teddy bear, where the character Ralph came from, the pleasures of reading and writing, and much more. See transcript.You can also watch our video interview with Beverly Cleary.

D.E.A.R. Day activities and resources

Reading and writing activity sheets

DEAR activities

Download and print these Ramona Quimby-inspired and Common Core-aligned reading and writing activity sheets from HarperCollins Children's Books.

Host a D.E.A.R. event!

DEAR certificate

To help promote your event, send an e-card or download and print these colorful print resources from HarperCollins Children's Books.

Family reading tips and booklists

Here are some easy ways to make your home reading-friendly!

Resources on silent reading

Information about D.E.A.R. Day

D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read. Schools often have D.E.A.R. time (sometimes called D.I.R.T., S.S.R., U.S.S.R., S.Q.U.I.R.T., F.V.R. or P.O.W.E.R.). It's when kids can read and enjoy the books they want, just for the pleasure of reading and with no questions asked!

On April 12, the birthday of beloved Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, the nation celebrates "Drop Everything and Read" Day. It's a partnership effort of the following organizations:

  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association
  • First Book
  • General Federation of Women's Clubs
  • HarperCollins Children's Books
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • Newspaper Association of America Foundation
  • Read Kiddo Read
  • Reading Rockets
  • Walden Media

The concept of "Drop Everything and Read" is referenced in the second chapter of Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Ramona is the campaign spokesperson. The aim of this nationwide initiative is to encourage families to designate a special time to "drop everything and read" at home. So, on April 12, families will be encouraged to take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together.

Free D.E.A.R. materials are available from HarperCollins Children's Books. Please see the D.E.A.R. website for details.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan