Kids Love "Ramona" More Than 50 Years Later

In this electronic age a lot of children still like to read. A survey found half of 9-year-olds read for fun almost every day. What may be surprising is the books kids are reading.

Seven-year-old Ella Biehle is a thoroughly modern girl, riding a skateboard, listening to an iPod, reading books on a kindle.

But the book she's reading is about a girl from another time: "Ramona Quimby," written by an author from another time, Beverly Cleary.

"I have no idea what a Kindle is like," says Cleary with a laugh. "Or an iPod."

Somehow Cleary, now 94, still connects with today's children. She retired from writing more than a decade ago but her 39 books remain popular. They've sold more than 75 million copies in the United States and been translated into 14 languages, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

The kids in her books don't have computers or iPods or Facebook pages, but as Cleary says, "Inside, children are very much the same."

This summer, Ramona, Cleary's most popular character, made it onto the big screen for the first time in the film "Ramona and Beezus."

The movie, like Cleary's books, doesn't have any superheroes, just normal kids being kids, something that Cleary saw was missing when she started writing in 1950.

"I was a children's librarian," said Cleary, "and a little boy said to me, 'Where are the books about kids like us?' Well, there weren't any."

Now generations of kids have seen themselves in Cleary's books. Ella's not the first in her family to be captivated by Ramona.

"I just remember identifying with [Ramona] because she was always getting in trouble. She was always dirty," says Ella's mother Margot. "And her older sister was always doing everything right and that seemed sort of a lot like my life."

The continuing popularity of Cleary's books shows that in a changing world some things about growing up don't change.

"I threw up in the library at school," said Ella as she covered her face. "It was really embarrassing."