Kimber Carnahan's Reviews > Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
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Mar 13, 12

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Leigh writes a letter to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw, as part of an assignment in school. When he replies back with different questions for Leigh, his mother encourages him to answer them, thus starting a sporadic correspondence with the author and the boy. Leigh tells him of how peers steal his lunch money, how his parents are divorced, and other personal things. Mr. Henshaw encourages Leigh to start a journal, and the view of the book changes from letters to journal entries as Leigh writes everything down in his quest to understand and become an author.
This book expands awareness by letting the reader see how they can work to become an author. It also lets them into the world of Leigh and his daily struggles, letting some students see how others live differently. It's a good read and it does not overtly teach or moralize, and it tells the truth. Everything in Leigh's life - from wanting to be an author to his parents separating - could and has happened to any student. It embodies quality and integrity as everything comes together and works well to provide for a smooth and enjoyable read. It is original because it lets the reader into the world that is uniquely Leigh's, telling others of his struggles and plans.
I would place this book in my classroom as an encouragement to my boy students to show how they can be readers too, just like Jack in "Love that Dog." I would also place this in my classroom just as an enjoyable read as well as one by a famous author, to encourage discussion and an author study.
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