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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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My Own Two Feet: A Memoir Paperback – October 1, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This second installment of the Newbery Medalist's autobiography (after A Girl from Yamhill) begins during the '30s, with the young Cleary leaving her home state of Oregon to attend junior college in California. The volume ends in 1949, with Morrow's acceptance of Cleary's first novel, the now-classic Henry Huggins (initially written as a short story entitled "Spareribs and Henry"). The author's unsentimental recollections of herself as a student in the Depression, a librarian and a newlywed are told humorously and candidly. Friends and adversaries-her ever-critical mother, formidable professors, congenial classmates, gentlemen acquaintances (including future husband Clarence)-are as colorfully sketched as the characters appearing in Cleary's beloved novels. Able to laugh at her own mistakes and to recognize universal truths in everyday life, Cleary will endear herself even more to her fans with this account of her struggle for independence. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up?This sequel to A Girl from Yamhill (Morrow, 1988) begins with Cleary starting college. The only child of Depression-era parents, she leaves her Oregon home to live with relatives and go to school tuition-free in California. Her vivid recollections of the various stops on the bus; her room in her aunt's home; and her many friends, including a few romances, are continued evidence of this author's ability to convince readers. It's all in the details. Cleary handles her own life well, giving it the shape that real life most often does not have, offering readers a sense of what it was like growing up in the 1930s, going to college when it was not common for women to do so, marrying and working during World War II. She also has those incidents that are common in coming-of-age books, fiction or otherwise: young love, wardrobes, defying parents, a first apartment, a first job (as a children's librarian). The book ends with her first book, inspired by her inner drive to write books for children who are not committed readers. So the book ends with a beginning. YAs who grew up on Cleary's books will find this one readable and inviting as they mature into young adulthood.?Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Series: An Avon Camelot Book
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380727463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380727469
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. S. Wedekind VINE VOICE on June 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable memoir about Beverly Cleary, nee Bunn, as a young woman during the Depression and World War II. The previous reviewers were on target concerning Beverly's easy writing style and vivid recollections of her family and college years: traveling alone by bus from Oregon to California to attend Chaffey Junior College for two years, matriculating to U Cal Berkeley, studying at the U of Washington after graduating from Berkeley to become a librarian, marrying Clarence Cleary (her strained relationship with her mother because of it) and working as a librarian at the US Army's Camp Knight and Oakland Regional Hospital during WWII, writing and publishing her first children's book. Many B&W photos of family and friends are included. I highly recommend MY OWN TWO FEET.
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Format: Paperback
This helped me a lot for dates and events that I'm writing about in the genealogy of my mother and her brothers and sister who included Clarence Cleary (5 children). All the Cleary kids were all sent to California orphanages in 1917. They all had an very hard row to hoe and this book along with three letters from Clarence provided some great information that a nephew would never find on the various genealogical websites. Thank you both: Beverly and Clarence.

Page 114. Clarence, your Irish Grandfather you never met was Thomas William Cleary Sr. who died in Pembroke, Ontario on April 18,1904 six years before you were born. He was not Irish but Canadian born in Canada in 1836. His father and mother: Michael Cleary and Bridget O'Halloran landed on Canadian soil in 1833 from County Clare.

Until we meet again, may the lord hold you in the palm of his hand.

The Cleary Kids
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After devouring Beverly Cleary's first memoir "A Girl From Yamhill" I couldn't wait to read My Own Two Feet. The only thing to complain about is that there isn't a sequel to this one! Picking up where Yamhill left off, we share in Beverly Cleary's journey through college and into her adult years and the writing of her first book, Henry Huggins. Reading Cleary's Memoirs, I was taken back to my own childhood and my love for Ramona & Beezus. Cleary has a unique gift of simple writing that readers of all ages can enjoy, whether you are 8 or 80. I lover her writing as much today as I did when I was in the 3rd grade.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Beverly Cleary autobiography of her college years, and years as librarian. She always wanted to be a writer, and she tells about writing her first book. I liked her books as a child, and her autobiographies are just as well written! I recommend it!
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I purchased this book without knowing anything about the writer or her background. It is a brilliant book, both as a history of the writer's life and as a wonderful description of living conditions during the Depression and world war 2. I highly recommend the book and will immediately purchase her book about the earlier years of her life.
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Format: Paperback
When I was a new reader just beginning chapter books, Beverly Cleary was just about my favorite author, and her book, Ellen Tebbits, remains one of my favorites. I read the memoir of her life up to her high school graduation, A Girl from Yamhill, a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, although for some unknown reason I didn't write a review at the time. My Own Two Feet picks up the story when Cleary moved to southern California to attend junior college and takes her up to the sale of her first novel, Henry Huggins. Many of the themes of the first memoir continue here, including the hardship of the Depression, the difficult relationship with her mother, and the challenges of school. Cleary's prose is straightforward and unemotional, which may put off some readers, but the book is aimed at 'tweens. For that reason, Cleary's social and educational insecurities, which seemed like so much piffle to an adult reader well aware of her phenomenal later success, are a really important aspect the book. After all, that's why Ellen Tebbits was so important to me. For me, the most interesting parts of this memoir are those which depict the author-to-be figuring out what kind of stories she wants to tell and for whom. The fact that 91 million copies later, her novels continue to sell shows that she got the answers to those questions absolutely right.
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I always enjoy and good autobiography and Ms. Cleary did not disappoint. I loved the historic context of the book, too. Very interested to go back to her children and young adult works with a new perspective on her.
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Very interesting and well written. I had no idea what her life was like and she is honest about it with no self-pity whereas there are parts of her life that nobody would blame her for playing the pity card.
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