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Overview

Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn't an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn't want to leave me.

Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He's a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running -- well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents' divorce and gets to ...

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Strider

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Overview

Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn't an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn't want to leave me.

Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He's a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running -- well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents' divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he's been admiring. With Strider's help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.

In a series of diary entries, Leigh tells how he comes to terms with his parents' divorce, acquires joint custody of an abandoned dog, and joins the track team at school.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although it lacks the emotional intensity that made Cleary's Newbery-winning Dear Mr. Henshaw an instant classic, this sequel offers further proof of the author's preeminence in children's fiction. Here, as in the preceding novel, she credibly and cogently writes in the voice of Leigh Botts--a boy with whom readers of both sexes will find much in common. Through entries made in a diary that he uncovers when cleaning his room, Leigh now 14 tells of the dog that he and his friend find abandoned on the beach. The boys assume joint custody of the pet, which they name Strider. But it soon becomes evident that Strider has rescued Leigh from physical and emotional apathy. Leigh's relationship with his devoted pet gives him the strength to deal with what seem to be insurmountable problems: his parents' separation, his dad's imperfections and even his attraction to a girl at school. Zelinsky's sketchy artwork provides quietly affecting details. Once again Cleary demonstrates her ability to write from the heart. Ages 8-up. Sept.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- Leigh Botts, the protagonist of the Newbery winner Dear Mr. Henshaw Morrow, 1983, is once again recording his thoughts on paper. While cleaning his room, he discovers his old diary and is inspired to start writing again. Now 14, he is still dealing with some of the same issues from earlier days--his parents' divorce, concerns about his father's sincerity and financial stability, and insecurities about his own identity and popularity. He also has a few new worries--namely Geneva, a girl, and Strider, a dog. Leigh and his friend Barry find the abandoned pooch on the beach and decide to try ``joint custody.'' It is not the perfect arrangement. Because Leigh's attachment to Strider fills the emotional voids in his life, he becomes reluctant to share him. Eventually, the two boys work through the tensions that threaten their friendship. At the same time, Leigh and his father develop a new understanding. Although the story is centered aroung Leigh's relationship with Strider, this is more than just ``a boy and his dog'' book. Cleary's talent for portraying the details of everyday life--both small and significant--is evident here. Her characters are unique individuals and ``every children'' at the same time. Strider lacks the subtle poignancy found in Dear Mr. Henshaw , and some readers may find Leigh's interest and responses more appropriate for an 11 or 12 year old than a 14 year old, but Cleary's fans will relate to his challenges and triumphs--whether or not they've read the first title.-- Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061972423
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 208,333
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.


Paul O. Zelinsky is the illustrator of Anne Isaac's Dust Devil and creator of the now-classic interactive book called The Wheels on the Bus. His retelling of Rapunzel was awarded the 1998 Caldecott Medal. Rumpelstitlskin, Hansel and Gretel and Swamp Angel with different authors all garnered Paul a Caldecott Honor. Since 1991 Paul O. Zelinsky has lived in the same apartment with his wife Deborah in northern Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Strider

Chapter One

From the Diary of Leigh Botts

June 6

This afternoon, as Mom was leaving for work at the hospital, she said for the millionth time, "Leigh, please clean up your room. There is no excuse for such a mess. And don't forget the junk under your bed."

I said, "Mom, you're nagging. I'm going to Barry's house."

She plunked a kiss on my hair and said, "Room first, Barry second. Besides, where would the world be without nagging mothers? Everything would go to pieces."

Maybe she's right. Things are pretty deep in my room. I hauled all the rubbish out from under my bed. In the midst of all the old socks, school papers, models that have fallen apart, paperback books (one library book--oops!), and other stuff, I found the diary I kept a couple of years ago when I was a mixed-up kid in the sixth grade. Mom had just divorced Dad and moved with me to Pacific Grove, better known as P.G., where I was a new kid in school, which wasn't easy.

I sat there on the floor reading my diary, and when I finished, I continued to sit there. What had changed?

Dad still drives his tractor-trailer rig, lives mostly on the road, and is late with his child support checks or forgets them. I don't often see him, but I don't get as angry about this as I did in the sixth grade. I no longer feel like crying, but I still hurt when he doesn't telephone when he said he would. Whenever I see a big rig, excitement shoots through me until I see Dad isn't the driver. I wish--oh well, forget it.

Mom has finished her vocational nurse course and works at the hospital from three to eleven because that shift pays more than thedaytime shift. Mornings she studies to become a registered nurse so she can earn more money. We still live in what our landlady called our "charming garden cottage" but I call a shack. Mom is looking for an apartment, but so far no luck.

Twice a week I mop the floor at Catering by Katy, where Mom used to work before she got her license. Katy gives me good things to eat. I like earning my own spending money, but I feel I could use the squares of Katy's linoleum for a checkerboard in my sleep.

Mom, who used to think TV was one of the greatest evils of the universe, finally had our set repaired because my grades were good and she no longer felt TV would rot my brain and leave me twiddling my shoelaces. At first I watched everything until I got bored and cut back to news and animal programs. Then I began to feel that every lion on the Serengeti must have his own personal hairdresser. That left the news, which sometimes worries me. If I see a truck accident with the tractor hanging over the edge of a bridge, or tons of tomatoes spilled on a freeway, I can hardly breathe until I see the driver isn't Dad.

One part of my diary made me smile, the part about wanting to be a famous author like Boyd Henshaw someday. Maybe I do, maybe I don't, but I'm glad that when I wrote to him, he said I should keep a diary.

I worry about what I'm going to do 'with my life, and so does Mom. Dad is probably too busy worrying about meeting his deadline with a trailer load of lettuce before it rots to even think of me. Or maybe he is wasting his time playing video games at some truck stop.

Until the last sentence, I enjoyed writing this. Maybe I'll go back to writing in composition books, but not every day, just once in a while, like now, when I feel like writing something.

The gas station next door has stopped ping-pinging, which means it's after ten o'clock. Mom gets home about eleven-thirty, and my room is still a mess. No problem. Except for books and my diary, I'll dump everything in the trash.

I just remembered. I forgot about Barry.

Strider. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

4 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Stupid not to read

    Awsome i love the book so insristing

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Great book!

    I love beverly cleary books! This is a great book for readers! So I think young or old will love it just as much as Dear Mr Henshaw!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2011

    strider

    This book was good

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Menza-Menz

    I had to read this book for a Battle of the Books competition, and, quite frankly, I wasn't impressed. It was a so-so book that not many people liked. I wasn't drawn in or compelled to read more. Luckily, it was a short book that wasn't a hard read so I was able to get it done.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Wow

    I had to read this for a school book report and may I say I thought it was AMAZING! A great follow up to Dear Mr Henshaw and what an amazing dog!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    Awesome and definately funny

    I loved the book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Best book ever

    This book is a must read! You will fall in love with the characters, and relate to them. The worst part is the ending, you never whant to lose the charasters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Strider is amazing.

    It is good the book is good and gets better and better and better then it is like what just happend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    About the author:

    Beverly iz my favryt author ever!!!!i luv her and her bookz so much!!!!! By: ava brawley

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    A wonderful classic

    Dear mr. Henshaw was better but this tells a story of love and proves that animals can really help.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Awesome book

    Good book love it need to read it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Love it

    I read this first when I was six. Now ten years later, I can not wait to read it again. You must read this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    Strider

    While reading Strider I noticed that Leigh Botts worried about his dad...just like I do. My dad was driving a tracker-trailer when I first started to read this story. The chapters kept coming and there were 3 of us reading the chapters each day...until we finished the book. We're going to get 'Dear Mr. Henshaw' next. Oh, learned a lot of words reading Strider.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    Strider

    I really liked this book because it taught me some new words. I also liked Leigh's daily activities ...running with Strider, racing at the track, writing stories in Mrs. Wounded Hair's class, and the landlady Mrs. Smerling. I'm ready for another story by Beverly Cleary. Great book!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2003

    Not done yet , but...............

    I'm not done reading this book, but now, it seemd pretty intresting. I'm on page 53 and it's getting better and better. It's cool that Leight Botts gets to keep the dog. This book is all diary entries from Leigh. It might seem boring, but it's not. This is the sequel to Dear Mr. Henshaw. If you want to read this, then read Dear Mr. Henshaw first so you know everything you need to know in Strider.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    Best book I've ever read

    Strider, a dog, who is found on the beach by Leigh and Barry, train him to read signs. Than Leigh runs for track. Than he wins since Strider and him ran that summer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2003

    A Very Good Book From Beverly Cleary

    This Book Is Better Than Dear Mr.Henshaw. I like The Way The Book Is Wretten Not In Chapters But in Dates. I Would Reccomend This Book To Anyone Ages 9+. I am Going to read more of her books. Read It!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2002

    It's A Good Book

    This book is about a dog named Strider and his trainer named Leih. They find a dog at the beach. They try to find the dog's owner. Leih's friend is named Barry. Kevin was running after Leih because he bought his shirt at a store.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

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