Wednesday, April 25, 2018

“What would I have done
without the library?”

Sixth-grade, and Beverly Cleary (then Bunn) has moved from fairy tales to the Myths and Legends shelves of the Rose City Branch Library:

There I came upon the story of Persephone and her mother, Demeter. The flowers that enticed Persephone to stray from her companions reminded me of our pasture in Yamhill, where I had often been enticed to run on to a thicker clump of buttercups or a patch of fatter Johnny-jump-ups. In my imagination I became Persephone. Turning into the daughter of a Greek goddess was easy — I had had so much experience turning from a brown-haired girl with crooked teeth into a golden-haired or raven-haired princess in fairy tales. At home, the wet Oregon winter with its sodden leaves became the dark underworld, and somehow Mother’s telephone soliciting kept the world from blooming. Demeter’s search for Persephone comforted me. What would I have done without the library?

A Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir (New York: William Morrow, 1988).
Related reading
All OCA Beverly Cleary posts (Pinboard)

[“Telephone soliciting”: selling magazine subscriptions.]

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