Celebrate “Drop Everything and Read” with Beverly Cleary


What is D.E.A.R.?
D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?

When is D.E.A.R. celebrated?
D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April . . . offering classrooms and communities additional time to celebrate!

Can D.E.A.R. be celebrated anytime?
Yes, of course! We encourage you to “Drop Everything and Read” every day throughout the year. The goal of the program is to prompt people to make reading a regular part of their routine . . . whether they’re reading solo or together with their classmates, parents, or friends. So, go ahead and join the millions of families, schools, bookstores, and communities who have participated throughout the years and pledge to “drop” what you’re doing in order to read a good book.

How can I participate?
As an organization, library, school, or bookstore, you can participate by hosting a “Drop Everything and Read” event at your location (or elsewhere) during the month of April. As an individual, you can participate by attending an event in your community or by reading at home with your children, siblings, or friends.

What materials are available for D.E.A.R.?
Please visit the “Resources” and “Favorite D.E.A.R. Books” sections of this website to find common core-aligned downloadables, digital assets, activity ideas, reading lists, and more to help you plan, promote, and host your own “Drop Everything and Read” celebration.

Where can I find Beverly Cleary’s books for my D.E.A.R. celebration?
Parents and children can find Beverly Cleary’s books in their local library or wherever books are sold. Booksellers can call 1.800.C.Harper or fax their order to 1.800.822.4090.

Who is leading the D.E.A.R. celebration?
Well, as Beverly Cleary has said, “I am honored that D.E.A.R. celebrations go on in my name,” so she’s pretty much the inspiration behind the entire program. But, many folks and organizations who work tirelessly to promote reading, literacy, and learning have joined the movement. The list of participating sponsors includes:
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association
  • Reading Rockets
  • General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC)
  • Newspaper Association of America Foundation (NAA)
  • First Book
  • Read Kiddo Read
  • Walden Media
  • HarperCollins Children’s Books
Learn more about these organizations here.

Art by Jacqueline Rogers. © 2013 HarperCollins Publishers.