Skip to main content
Ramona Quimby sitting on a pile of books

Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R)

April 12 — Beverly Cleary’s birthday — is D.E.A.R. Day, a national celebration of reading designed to encourage families to make reading a priority activity in their lives.


On this page:

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. 

The concept of “Drop Everything and Read” is referenced in the second chapter of Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Ramona is the campaign spokesperson. 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?

Cece Bell: 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. 

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

Reading and writing activity sheets

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

Family reading tips and booklists

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

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