Tuesday, April 7, 2009

BOOK: Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, 136 pages

themed reading challenge; Newbery Winner 1984

A lonely little boy, new at a school after his parent's divorce, begins to write letters to his favorite author. The author writes back and encourages the boy to write, and keep a journal. Through his writing, Leigh works through his problems - the divorce, his anger at his father, making friends, and finding who is stealing from his lunch. It never goes too deep into Leigh's life, but it shows how perspective can change you view, and gives a nice progression of Leigh's development.

My 9 year old daughter read the book after I strategically left it lying around. When she finished, I asked her opinion:

It was, wait, did you read it already? yes. OK, well the ending was sad. why? When his dad came back and then left again and called him Leigh and he didn't tell him to keep his nose clean. Was he still mad at his dad? No, it was happy-sad ending. And they found the dog, but he knew the dog would keep his dad company. It was okay.

now Rachel saw me writing her words out and is about to take over the keyboard:

And Leigh had a diary to pretend he was writing to Mr Henshaw.
I thought the person they were going to have lunch with would be Mr Henshaw and I didn't know that the girl copied the poems out of a different book or Leigh would get to have lunch with Mrs Badger. by Rachel make sure you say that was by Rachel

Beverly Cleary was born April 12, 1916 and the author of the Ramona books and all her friends. Over the years, many Beverly Cleary books have been read by myself and now my children.
Our family book club: RAchel, MOm and NAna have named our book club the Ramona book club.


  1. I love books that encourage children to write diaries or journals. I always encouraged my children to write in journals. I bet this book is wonderful. I know Beverly Cleary is great.

  2. Thank you for that great review too.

  3. I don't think I've read this one. I think I saw it it in the library recently. I love Beverly Cleary.

    Ramona book club, great name.

  4. I didn't read the Romana books as a kid but I know I picked up a few Beverly Cleary books. I think Mud Blossom? At least I remember that cover pretty clearly...


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