News Mash-up: Famous People

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. the likes of (someone) / ðə laɪks əv / (n.) – someone similar to the person or people mentioned

    Aaron wants to start his own company, so he enjoys reading articles on the likes of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.

  2. call off (something) / kɔl ɔf / (phrasal v.) – to cancel or stop something such as an event or agreement

    The band called off the concert because the lead singer was sick.

  3. breakup / ˈbreɪkˌʌp / (n.) – the ending of a personal relationship, usually a romantic one

    News of the celebrity couple’s breakup shocked their fans.

  4. on the rocks / ɔn ðə rɒks / (idiom) – having a lot of problems and likely to fail soon

    Robert’s marriage is on the rocks.

  5. a joint statement / ə dʒɔɪnt ˈsteɪt mənt / (n.) – a statement or announcement made by two or more people

    Officials from the two companies issued a joint statement about the lawsuit.


Read the text below.

Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary, who created Henry Huggins, dies at 104

Beverly Cleary, the celebrated children’s author whose memories of her Oregon childhood were shared with millions through the likes of Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins, has died. She was 104.

Cleary’s publisher HarperCollins announced March 26 that the author died March 25 in Carmel Valley, California, where she had lived since the 1960s. No cause of death was given.

Trained as a librarian, Cleary didn’t start writing books until her early 30s, when she wrote Henry Huggins, published in 1950.

Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and inspired Japanese, Danish and Swedish television programs based on the Henry Huggins series. (AP)

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez split because “we are better as friends”

Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and former New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement because “we are better as friends,” announcing the breakup on April 15 just months after denying their four-year relationship was on the rocks.

“We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so,” Lopez, 51, also known by her nickname J.Lo, and Rodriguez, 45, known as A-Rod, said in a joint statement.

“We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects,” Lopez and Rodriguez said.

In March, they denied reports they had split, saying they were “working through some things.” (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Cleary has been described as one of the best children’s authors of all time. In your opinion, what are some of the best children’s books of all time? Why? Discuss.
  • Cleary shared memories of her Oregon childhood with millions through her writing. If you were to write a children’s book, would you base it on your own childhood? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Cleary lived to the age of 104. Would you like to live to be that old? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In March, Lopez and Rodriguez had to deny reports that they had split. In your opinion, why do the media care so much about celebrity relationships? Discuss.
  • Lopez and Rodriguez said they’ve realized they’re better as friends and “look forward to remaining so.” They also announced that they’ll continue to work together and support each other on their shared businesses and projects. Do you think it’s easy to continue working and being friends with an ex? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Lopez and Rodriguez earlier denied that their four-year relationship was on the rocks. What are some common reasons that long-term relationships start having problems? Why? Discuss.