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Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
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Dear Mr. Henshaw (1983)

by Beverly Cleary

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Elementary
  SteppLibrary | May 21, 2019 |
Dear Mr. Henshaw is the story of a boy, Leigh, struggling with his parents' divorce and his move to a new school. As a second grader he becomes enthralled with a book and begins writing to the book's author, Mr. Henshaw. Now a fifth grader, he continues to write to the author, but eventually starts a journal at the author's suggestion. Over time Leigh's letters and journal help him come to terms with his parents' divorce, as well as improve his writing skills - helping him write a story for a school contest that wins an honorable mention. ( )
  adrouet | Apr 3, 2019 |
At least twice during school, my reading textbook contained an excerpt from this. And both times it was the part where the boy gets to go to lunch with an author. Now I finally read it.

That excerpt is nothing like the book.

Well, maybe a little. It is about a young boy who writes letters to an author. They start as “fan mail/questions”. Then it becomes personal stuff about his life–way too personal–that transforms into essentially a diary, or shouting into the wind. And it’s in epistolary format, so it’s fun to see his writing style evolve over time. I was under the impression that Mr. Henshaw never responds to the boy, but in fact he does. You just don’t see those responses. But writing is not what the book is about.

It’s about his coming to terms with his parents’ divorce and his deadbeat truck driver father. A bit cliche now, but not so much when this was written. I don’t know why, but something felt off about this book. Maybe it was my expectations that it would be about a boy becoming a writer and then being delivered a bildrungsoman. Maybe I couldn’t much relate to the boy. He’s living in a trailer and he’s constantly talking about his father–if he’s going to come visit, if he’s going to call, what he’s doing with their dog, who was that woman who answered the phone, and so on. Something’s lacking–either charm or wit or levity. It seems bleak. It seems like the moral is “adults are shits and there’s nothing you can do about it, kid”. It’s a solid idea, but lacks plot. So it comes off whiny. I imagine this is the kid who grew up to become J.D. Salinger. ( )
  theWallflower | Feb 14, 2019 |
Ten year old Leigh begins writing letters to his favorite author as part of a school assignment. When Mr. Henshaw begins to ask questions about Leigh’s family, he is reluctant to answer because of his parent’s recent divorce. On top of this, Leigh is the new kid in school. Mr. Henshaw acts as a mentor for Leigh and is able to help him cope with these issues. With the rising divorce rate, plenty of kids are experiencing divorce. This is harder for some than it is for others. This book shows a kid who first feels shame over the state of his family, but learns to become more comfortable with it. ( )
  JennySkvarna | Nov 30, 2018 |
This book is full of letters from a student to a children's book author. This could be used in the older classroom setting when teaching about writing and letter writing. ( )
  Megannau1 | Nov 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beverly Clearyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zelinsky, Paul O.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Dear Mr. Henshaw,
My teacher read your book about the dog to our class.
Quotations
Dear Mr. Henshaw,
When you answered my questions, you said the way to be get to be an author was to write.
My story is about a man ten feet tall who drives a big truck, the kind my Dad drives. The man is made of wax, and every time he crosses the desert, he melts a little.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
this story is about a boy who writes his favorite author as a way of coping with his parents divorce and his life changes.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380709589, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

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