Catherine Garcia
April 12, 2010 AT 05:34 PM EDT

Stop whatever you’re doing, pick up a book, and join millions of others celebrating National Drop Everything and Read Day.

The goal of the event is to encourage families to make reading together a priority, and coincides with Beverly Cleary’s birthday – she’s turning 94 today! After receiving letters from readers who participated in the event, Cleary put a scene about D.E.A.R. Day in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and has been honored with the celebration on her birthday ever since.

D.E.A.R. Day’s 2010 spokesperson is actress Joey King, who plays Ramona in this summer’s Ramona and Beezus.

“The Ramona books have a ton of history,” she told EW in a recent interview. “Lots of kids through all the grades read the Ramona books, and I think they are going to love the movie. It’s exactly like the Ramona books.”

Selena Gomez, who plays Ramona’s big sister Beezus in the movie, is also a longtime fan.

“I read the books when I was in third grade and loved them,” she told EW. “I think every kid wanted to be Ramona at one point.”

I’ve always loved the books, and can clearly remember some of my favorite scenes: when Ramona cracks what she thinks is a hard-boiled egg over her head in class; when, at the end of a long, rainy day, her hard-working parents take the kids to a rare dinner out, and a kind man pays their check; and when Ramona decides to squeeze the entire contents of a fresh toothpaste tube into the sink, just to see how it feels. It’s those simple scenes, so true to life, that stick out.

So, ShelfLifers, are you going to celebrate D.E.A.R. Day? What’s your favorite Beverly Cleary book?

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