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National DEAR Day (Drop Everything and Read)

Amber Brandt  |  April 13, 2021

Have you ever heard of DEAR day? It stands for Drop Everything and Read – a special reading celebration designed to remind families to make daily reading time together a priority. On this day each year, families are encouraged to take at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together.

This annual nationwide campaign happens April 12, honoring the birthday of much-loved author Beverly Cleary who recently passed away at 104 years old! Cleary included references to DEAR Day in her famous book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. But the original history of Beverly’s introduction to DEAR day is a little unclear, as two stories are circulating the web:

  1. One account says her own children observed DEAR at school. This theory states Beverly’s own children took part in DEAR when they were young and she loved the idea so much, she wrote the activity into her book.
  2. The other claims it was fans of her books who told Cleary about DEAR Day and she liked the concept well enough to use it as a plot device for Ramona and her classmates.

Either way, it’s clear to see Cleary thought it was a great idea and something to celebrate! If you’d like to dive into the legacy of Beverly Cleary and DEAR Day, here are some fun links to explore at home:

However you decide to mark the day, we hope you share a book you love with your kids!