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Dear Mr. Henshaw (Leigh Botts #1)

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  31,566 Ratings  ·  1,351 Reviews
Beverly Cleary’s timeless Newbery Medal-winning book explores difficult topics like divorce, insecurity, and bullying through the thoughts and emotions of a sixth-grade boy as he writes to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw.

After his parents separate, Leigh Botts moves to a new town with his mother. Struggling to make friends and deal with his anger toward his absent father
...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published May 31st 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1983)
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Kate
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like to imagine the replies from Mr. Henshaw. "Dear Leigh, Please stop writing to me every single day. I'm glad I impressed you, but you must cease and desist."
Brina
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my comfort reads as a kid was Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. I read my copy enough times to leave the pages tattered. This week my first grader brought a copy home from her school library, and I could not resist reading along with her. As it is always a struggle to for me to find quality books for kids, I figured it was time for a trip down memory lane, and, as always, Beverly Cleary does not disappoint her readers.

Leigh Botts is a fifth grader whose parents have just gotten divorced
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Nick Black
This cunningly-woven allegory of the Cold War's nuclear buildup is simple and gripping enough for children to understand, if a bit fleshless. Our adolescent narrator, one Leigh Botts of California (both an immediate reference to Harvard President and Interim Committee member James Bryant Conant and a deep frappe indeed to the testicles-or-vagina of Bridge to Terebithia's androgynous lead character), devoid of a father figure (the waning British Empire, their ocean-spanning fleet here captured in ...more
Will McGee
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Rereading this book, I was struck with how Cleary manages to convey her narrator's complex of feelings in the limited vocabulary and understated style of Leigh Botts, a lonely and isolated young boy. Leigh faces several problems in the narrative--his lunch is stolen, he doesn't understand his parents' divorce, he resents a "pizza boy" whose mother Leigh's father seems to be dating--but none are neatly solved; Cleary refuses to resolve them conclusively and instead shows Leigh struggling to addre ...more
Yasaman A
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
بچه که بودم کتابو خوندم و یه مدت خیلی دنبالش گشتم تا یکی از دوستام دوباره بهم هدیه دادش. کتاب داستان لی پسربچه ی تنهاییه که برای آقای هنشاو، نویسنده ی شوخ طبع موردعلاقه ش نامه می نویسه و کم کم بین این دو نفر یه دوستی مکاتبه ای شکل می گیره.
چقدر دوست دارم همه چیز این کتابو
بهترین گزینه برای هدیه دادن به بچه هایی که خاطره نویسی می کنن.
Calista
A brilliant book! Beverly does a fantastic job of showing how Leigh's writing changes as he keeps writing. At first it is short with little to say and by the end he is getting good at showing what happens. A simple story. This is similar to Crenshaw in several ways. This is a powerful story and I can't believe it took me this long to read it. There are great tips if children really want to be a writer too. Please get kids to read this. It's a story will enjoy.
Arvy
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Dear Mr. Henshaw,

FUCK YOU. I heard you reply to children writing letters to you so this I gotta try. Fuck you for replying to Leigh Boots, (that boy who was dumbly obsessed with your books) with 10 stupid questions that are by definition, useless (unless you're a 6-year-old pixie spending afternoon sipping apple juice answering questions from a slumbook.) You might as well stab him in the eye with a corkscrew. It killed his potential, Mr. Henshaw. I know Leigh wouldn't like me writing to you but
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Bobby
Apr 21, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked this up in a thrift store thinking that it was another book entirely but when I started it I found that it was charming story told from the point of view of a young man dealing with the fallout of his parent's divorce. The young man is given an assignment in school to write to a favorite author and when the author mails him back a list of questions, he endeavors to answer them in series of letters and then journals as he grows up a bit.

Overall it's a great book for children of middle s
...more
Alan
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Watching the movie "Stuck in Love" a character makes reference to this book as his favorite while the hard character of his affection felt the same. It is now one of my favorites as it has so many parallels to my life as a young boy. It doesn't bother me this is Jr. Fiction, what bothers me is, it took so long for me to find.
ดินสอ สีไม้
หนังสือเลมนีเปนผลงานในชวงทายๆ ของบีเวอรลี เคลียรี
ซึงเธอไดรวบรวมเอาความประทับใจ
จากจดหมายทีถูกสงมากจากเดกๆ นับพันๆ ฉบับ
กลันกรอง และถายทอดออกมาเปนหนังสือเลมนี
มันสนุก นารัก และนาประทับใจ
(โดยเฉพาะสำหรับแฟน บีเวอรลี เคลียรี คะ)
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Danielle
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, audio, mg
Man, how I love this book.
Michelle Isenhoff
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Dear Mr. Henshaw is Beverly Cleary’s highest award-winner, capturing the Newbery and Christopher Awards in the early 80’s, yet it is one of my least favorites. Written as a series of letters and journal entries, with absolutely no narration, Mrs. Cleary somehow, miraculously, weaves together a plot, a central-California setting and a well-rounded character. This accomplishment is a testament to her craft; the story is emotional and compelling. I simply don’t care for the style.

In a departure fro
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Bailey R
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary this book is very interesting and funny. Leigh Botts (the main character) writes letters to Mr. Henshaw because the book he is reading is by Mr. Henshaw. They have to do a report on the author of the book they are reading in class. Leigh and Mr. Henshaw write letters to each other about themselves. Leigh has a hard life because his parents got divorced and he lives with his mom. His mom and him don't have a lot of money so they struggle a ...more
Drew Graham
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
Get to know Leigh Botts, first through his letters to an author he admires, and then through letters to himself in his journal. It's not easy getting through sixth grade in a new school while also dealing with divorced parents, but Leigh's correspondence with Mr. Henshaw helps him cope with changes in his life and alternating disappointments and triumphs.

I've been trying to remember when I first read this book. I think I must have been in grade school, and although I can't remember exactly wheth
...more
Erika
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites from childhood, and it hasn't lost the magic.
Diane
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-claire
I find it so interesting and also rare that there are books about children dealing with divorce. This book holds up over time and it made both of us go from laughing one second to being a bit sad the next.
Jan
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ok, this is a kids' book....but one of my fifth graders wanted me to read it so we could talk about it, and who could turn that down??

I love Beverly Cleary!

This is a GREAT book for kids who are going through divorce (because it doesn't affect just the parents). Heartfelt, realistic, easy to understand because Ms. Cleary wrote FOR kids, not TO kids.
Jg
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
not as good as diary of a wimpy kid. but I still liked it
Kwoomac
I picked this book up because I recently read some author's bio and he/ she said this book was influential in their lives. Unfortunately, I don't remember who the author was or the particular significance. A sweet story but not life-changing for me.

The premise is a school-aged boy writes to his favorite author. He also keeps a diary, with his thoughts written in the form of more letters to the author, Mr. Henshaw. Henshaw's role in all this is fairly minimal. Most of the meat of the story is wh
...more
Wendy
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery
I thought this was so good. I'd tried to read it as a kid and got maybe halfway through--it's that thing about not liking books about boys, and I remember that I also didn't want to read about a kid whose parents were divorced, which seemed strange and unhappy to me. But reading it now, I thought it was very sweet and honest and funny. At one point I almost cried.

I've been trying to put my finger on why I can't give this five stars--I think maybe because Leigh seems too self-aware sometimes, in
...more
Smitha
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, children
Really liked it, more the so, due to the first person diary and letter narrative which I am partial to. The story of a young lonely pre-teen, the product of a broken marriage, who lives with his mother in a cramped house and has a good imagination and who loves writing. The story starts as a letter he writes to a popular children's author as a part of a school project and carries on from there via correspondences and diary entries. It was a poignant story, I felt like befriending and nurturing t ...more
The other John
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: schoolbook
This is the tale of Leigh Botts, a school aged boy and wannabe writer, as told in a series of letters to Boyd Henshaw, the author of Leigh's favorite book. It's an interesting twist and Ms. Cleary makes it work well. It was a pleasure to read, though I didn't find the heart of the story, Leigh coping with his parents' divorce, to be exceptionally enthralling.
Christopher
When I was a wee lad I started this book several times but always stalled out before, let's say, page twenty-five. What an idiot I was. This book is amazing.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dear Mr. Henshaw, Beverly Cleary
عنوان: آقاى هنشاو عزيز؛ مترجم: پروین علیپور
Lexi
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that I read over and over again, as a child... teen... young adult...
Aj Sterkel
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
The Good: When I was in middle school, I adored the Ramona Quimby series and read approximately a zillion of those books. It was good to be back in Beverly Cleary’s “world.” I think she really understands kids. She knows that they can be funny and insightful, infuriating and annoying. Leigh’s personality in Dear Mr. Henshaw rings true. He got on my nerves, but in a realistic, childlike way.

My opinion of Leigh changed as he matured. At first, I kind of hated him. He writes tons of rude letters to
...more
Debbie
In second grade, Leigh Botts reads a book How to Entertain Your Dog and writes to the author, Mr. Henderson, telling him how much he enjoyed the story. The next year, Leigh writes again talking more about the book, about his own dog Bandit and about how he would like to be an author and write stories just like How to Entertain Your Dog. In fourth grade, the teacher assigns the class to write to an author to do a report about an author. Leigh writes to Mr. Henderson again giving him a list of 1o ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Cute and enjoyable to read. Leigh is a boy trying to cope with the divorce of his parents and all the changes that come with that. Most of the book is in letter or diary format. It feels believable.

The book is a bit familiar to me, particularly the lunchbox burglar alarm. I probably would have enjoyed reading this as a child even though it wasn't an animal book.

Will modern kids like this? I dunno, I think it could still be enjoyable. A kid who likes to tinker will enjoy that lunchbox portion.
...more
Elisabeth Ensor
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My son and I are reading the same books, at the same pace for homeschool and discussing them. He loves to read and picked this book from the selection. We both enjoyed the style of writing- it was easy to read but the context was a little harder for him to read. It deals intimately with a parents divorce from a young boys perspective and we stopped several times to talk about how he was feeling. The dad is trucker on the road and doesn't see his son much, the boy uses writing as an outlet. He wr ...more
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly At
...more

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“I am sort of medium...I guess you could call me the mediumest boy in the class. -Leigh Botts” 7 likes
“This morning the sun was shining, so Barry and I mailed my letter to Mr. Henshaw and then walked over to see if there were still any butterflies in the grove. We only saw three or four, so I guess most of them have gone north for the summer. Then we walked down to the little park at Lovers Point and sat on a rock watching sailboats on the bay for a while. When clouds began to blow in we walked back to my house.” 2 likes
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