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Dear Mr. Henshaw [Paperback]

Beverly Cleary
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1992
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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When, in second grade, Leigh writes to an author to tell him how much he "licked" his book, he never suspects that he'll still be writing to him four years later. And he never imagines the kinds of things he'll be writing about:
Dear Mr. Henshaw, I am sorry I was rude in my last letter... Maybe I was mad about other things, like Dad forgetting to send this month's support payment. Mom tried to phone him at the trailer park where, as Mom says, he hangs his hat.
It's not easy being the new kid in town, with recently divorced parents, no dog anymore, and a lunch that gets stolen every day (all the "good stuff," anyway). Writing letters, first to the real Mr. Henshaw, and then in a diary to a pretend Mr. Henshaw, may be just what he needs.

This Newbery Medal-winning book, by the terrifically popular and prolific Beverly Cleary (Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Runaway Ralph), exhibits a subtlety and sensitivity that will be appreciated by any youngster who feels lonely and troubled during the transition into adolescence. Winner of numerous other awards, including two Newbery Honors, Cleary teams up with Caldecott winner Paul O. Zelinsky, who creates a quiet backdrop for the realistic characters. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"A first-rate, poignant story ... a lovely, well-crafted, three-dimensional work." -- -- The New York Times Book Review

"Cleary succeeds again. [Her] sense of humor leavens and lightens ..." -- -- School Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How I felt about this book June 30 2004
I am a student at West Virginia State University, and read this book for my Children's Literature class. Our assignment was to select a Newbery winner and report on it. When I selected this book I wasn't aware it was going to have such an affect on me. I am from a divorced family and if I would have had something like this to read when I was younger I may have learned ways to cope with what I was going through. I recommend this book to all children whether their parents are divorced or not. This book will also prepare them with what is going on in others lives. Sometimes children aren't as considerate with their peers as they should be. I enjoyed this book, and I know you will too!
In this book, Leigh Botts, writes to an author to help cope with his parents divorce and help him get over going to a new school. He relies on the author to help him overcome his fear of writing. He dreams of becoming an author as great as Mr. Henshaw. Leigh realizes he has to be himself in order to be effective.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dear Mr.Henshaw's book review Dec 9 2003
By A Customer
The book "Dear Mr.Henshaw" to me was really great. One of the reasons why I liked it was because it awas about a boy's interesting life. Another reason why I liked the book was because the boy didn't get fustrated because he didn't have anybody to play with. The final reason why I liked this book was because it actually has a point not like other books that are long and they don't really say nothing.
The most important character in this book is called Leigh Botts and he is an only child. His parents divorce after an argument overa trick that Mr.Botts wanted to buy. At first he used to live in Bakersfield CA,and then moved to Pacific Grove CA. Now he attends a new elementary school and they always steal his lunch because his mom puts him delicious food since she's a great cook. He writes to his favorite author for tips on how to write.
The two secondary characters are Mr.Henshaw and his mom Bonie Botts. Mr. Henshaw is Leighs favorite author and sometimes answers his letters. Bonie is Leigh's mom, she works in a restaurant and is a great cook. She cares alot about his son.
At first the story took place in Bakersfield and then they moved to Pacific Grove after his mom divorced. This new place where they now live is important because by accident his dad stops by a near by gas station.
First dad starts working in a company where he houled things like cotton and carrots. Second he wanted to buy a truck that was too expensive. Third mom and dad had an argument over the truck. Fourth they moved to Pacific Grove. Fifth he saw his dad finally after a long time.
Leigh faces the problem that his parents are divorced. He has hard time in school. Many kids in school don't notice him.
I think she wrote this book just for fun. Maybe she just wanted to entertain readers. That's why I think she wrote it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Encourages both Reading and Writing Nov. 8 2003
Leigh Botts adores the author of his favorite book, Boyd Henshaw. Leigh begins to write his favorite author throughout elementary school. Since Mr. Boyd Henshaw does not have the time to reply to Leigh's frequent letters, he encourages Leigh to begin a journal of letters. Leigh eventually takes Mr. Henshaw's advice and starts to journal. The reader is given insight to Leigh's life and growth through his journal/letter writing. Leigh writes about his thoughts and feelings on school, family, situations in his life and himself.
Writing in his journal Leigh is able to deal with the problems and situations he is dealt. He faces the separation and absence of his parents, missing his dog, the broken promises of his father, the lack of friends and a lunchbox thief. Leigh's journal acts as a place to vent his frustrations, his cares and his concerns.
Leigh's journaling also stretches his writing skills as we can see in his progression of letters. It gives him a positive outlet, which is extremely inspired and encouraged by his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. Mr. Henshaw even encourages Leigh to extend and elaborate on his journal entries, to increase his writing skills.

I really enjoyed Beverly Cleary's style and organization of the book, "Dear Mr. Henshaw." Her use of letters to give the reader insight on the story is fun and interesting. I think that the style of writing she uses in the chapters would appeal to children because it makes them feel like they are really getting into someone else's life, through the main characters personal letters.
The author also uses the letters/chapters in the book to show growth in Leigh, the main character. His letters become more complex, include more challenging vocabulary and his spelling and grammar increasingly improve.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dear Mr. Henshaw by: Beverly Cleary Oct. 20 2003
Dear Mr. Henshaw is a book about a young boy trying to adjust to the changes in his life over a period of years. Leigh Botts starts out as a second grader writing to Mr. Henshaw, the author of a book his teacher has read in class. Through various school assignments, Leigh continues to write Mr. Henshaw although he seldom gets a response. Once Leigh reaches the sixth grade, things have changed dramatically in his life. He has moved to a new school due to his parents divorce and he has to deal with a lunch thief at his new school. As time goes by, Mr. Henshaw grows accustomed to the letters from Leigh, but he also inspires him to keep a journal of his own, since he wants to become an author one day. As Leigh takes Mr. Henshaw's advice about the journal, he is able to come to grips with the changes taking place and settles in to his new surroundings with the help of friends.
This is a book which is easily read by 4th grade or above. It deals with the hardships of being a child facing circumstances beyond his control, such as, the divorce of his parents, moving to a new town, and having his lunch stolen at a new school. This book also shows that all relationships are not positive ones.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How I felt about this book
I am a student at West Virginia State University, and read this book for my Children's Literature class. Our assignment was to select a Newbery winner and report on it. Read more
Published on June 30 2004 by "barbie09220506"
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Book For 5th Graders
Wow, what a great book for fifth Graders! The book "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary is about a boy named Leigh Botts. Leigh moves to a new town with his mother. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Jake Sickels
3.0 out of 5 stars this book was ok
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary was an ok book. Its all about an 11 year old boy named Leigh Botts and what he writes in his letters and journal. The letters are to Mr. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The most boring book I've ever read in my whole life
It is the most boring book that was made. It did not catch my interest at all. Writing letters, that is boring . you could at least of did something different.
Published on Jan. 7 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Dear Mr.Henshaw
Dear Mr.Henshaw is a really good book!!! The main problem is about a boy named Leigh and he writes to an author, Mr.Henshaw about his problem's. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant with the right touch
I liked this book because it delved into difficult aspects of life without causing them to overwhelm the reader. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by Sokste
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great!
I never read this book as a child, but I recently read it while doing an assignment for a college course. This book is wonderful for children. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars It is not fair for Liegh to encountered his parent's divorce
ï¿Dear Mr. Henshawï¿ is a good book that shows the effects of getting divorce on a child. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by Mr.NIKORN SIMLA
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good
I really liked this book when I was younger.I like how the boy (I think his name is Lou)writes his letters and why he writes them, but I wish I could read Mr. Read more
Published on June 17 2003
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