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By Jennifer Peltak

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As the rain beat against the windows, a feeling of peace came over me as I wrote far beyond the required length of the essay,” 57 After the class turned in their essays, Beverly watched Miss Smith go through the papers. She selected one and began reading it aloud; it was Beverly’s. ” 58 Beverly was shocked. ” Beverly took her teacher’s wisdom very seriously and shared the revelation with her mother. Her mother pointed out that a writer must have another way to earn a living. Beverly’s decision was easily made.

The puppy’s silly dialogue prompted Beverly to realize she could write something better. ” 120 Not long after, Beverly and Quail met the children’s book editor for a national publisher at a lecture. She asked the editor, Elisabeth Hamilton, if she ever wrote a letter to the authors whose books she turned down. Hamilton replied that she did only if the writer showed talent. HENRY HUGGINS On January 2, 1949, Beverly “gathered up my typewriter, freshly sharpened pencils, and the pile of paper and sat down at the kitchen table we had stored in the back bedroom.

Beverly dated a bit, but never for long. Some of her dates were with men who didn’t bother to mention that they weren’t actually single. 91 His name was Clarence Cleary. Clarence was six years older than Beverly, studying economics and history, and was “kind, gentle, quiet, and, best of all, single. ” 92 The Depression had lengthened Clarence’s pursuit of education. He had hitchhiked to his first college and later worked in a dairy. When he lost that job because of the Depression, he went back to school.

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