Friday, June 19, 2009

Dear Mr. Henshaw

Author: Beverly Cleary
Originally published : 1983 (Harper Collins)
Length: 144 pages
Awards: Newbery Medal 1984
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 4/5
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 (158 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 2,831 ratings, 3.74 average rating

Leigh Botts is the new kid in school, his parents have recently divorced, and he has to deal with a mysterious thief who is taking all the yummy stuff out of his lunch. How will he cope? He has been writing to his favorite author since second grade, and finds help in getting his feelings and frustrations down on paper--first directly to the author, and then eventually in his diary.

From laugh-out-loud moments to heart-rending ones, this book really captured my heart. I think I was a little surprised at that. It was very honest and poignant, with a realistic but happy ending. In the end I think Leigh learns that life is complicated, but he can handle it. All and all, I "licked" it. (You have to have read the book to get that and not think I'm totally disgusting.)


  1. I loved this book. It has been years but I remember most of the plot. Cute and funny. :)

  2. I recently read this book, too. I'm glad you thought the ending was happy. I was totally depressed!

  3. I remember loving this book as a kid, but now I can't remember anything about it. Guess I need to re-read it. Thanks for reminding me of its existence!

  4. Brittanie,
    Yes, it did have some pretty funny parts in it. Like, "Leigh (boy's name), and "Dear Pretend Mr. Henshaw."

    It was bittersweet and realistic. But I felt like he would be okay.

    It's such a quick read you should try it again. I think your kids might like it too.

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