Esther Barajikian's Reviews > Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
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Mar 18, 12

bookshelves: children-s-literature
Read in March, 2012

"Dear Mr Henshaw" is an award-winning (John Newbery Metal) realistic fiction book intended for intermediate readers. It is the story of a boy, Leigh Botts, who writes a series of letters to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. Through his letters, Leigh shares his feelings of loneliness and disappointment associated with the absence of his father, who is divorced from his mom and constantly on the road as a trucker. Through his correspondence with Mr. Henshaw, Leigh learns more about himself and comes to terms with his family situation.

I gave this book a 4-star rating and found it to be very touching. Through the words and thoughts of this little boy, I was able to catch a glimpse of how difficult it is for children to deal with the fracturing of a family. The author, Beverly Cleary, effectively weaves the realities of struggle with strands of humor to create an interesting and enjoyable story. Her realistic portrayal of Leigh and his parents makes it possible for the reader to identify with each of them and be drawn into their world. I am sure that this book would be very appealing to young readers with its relevant theme and sensitive approach to a very real issue.
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