Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw


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Dear Mr. Henshaw,

I wish somebody would stop stealing the good stuff out of my lunchbag. I guess I wish a lot of other things, too. I wish someday Dad and Bandit would pull up in front in the rig ... Dad would yell out of the cab, "Come on, Leigh. Hop in and I'll give you a lift to school."

Leigh Botts has been author Boyd Henshaw's number one fan ever since he was in second grade. Now in sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is the new kid at school. He's lonely, troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country trucker, and angry because a mysterious thief steals from his lunchbag. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a letter-writing project. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380709588
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/31/2000
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 24,604
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

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 illustrated Dust Devil, by Anne Isaacs; Doodler Doodling, by Rita Golden Gelman; and his retelling of Rapunzel won the Caldecott Medal in 1998. He received Caldecott Honors for Rumpelstiltskin; Hansel and Gretel, by Rika Lesser; and Swamp Angel, by Anne Isaacs. Paul O. Zelinsky lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Carmel, California

Date of Birth:

April 12, 1916

Place of Birth:

McMinnville, Oregon


B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Customer Reviews

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Dear Mr. Henshaw 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 218 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it was very good and they should make another book or a sequel about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt so bad for Lee.The book is sad if you don't like sad stories you should not read the book.I still like the book.
Mirvette Badal More than 1 year ago
I like that it is funny and not boring. I have to read for school and its not that bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book but the ending is sad. : (
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 3rd grade i loved it but its esay i recamed it to 2nd and 3rd graders
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary, I give five star rating because the realness of the book. Leigh is my favorite character because what happened in the book to him really explains to the reader what happens in the everyday life of a kid. Like having all of the good stuff out of your lunch everyday. Also possibly having your parents divorced. Or not even having any friends. I Like Leigh¿s mom a lot too. She was so about everything he does. Like a real mother should do. Dad was okay but he was so in love with his truck for me to like him a lot. Another reason I gave the book five stars is because of the plot and the flow of the story. I liked Leigh¿s story, ¿A Day on Dad¿s Rig.¿ I was glad he got to go to lunch even if it was with Angela Badger. It was also kind of cool how he made an alarm inside of his lunchbox. He made some friends by doing that. I was happy for Leigh when his dad came home. Especially with Bandit. It was sad though because his mom and dad would not get back together. Well, that is why I gave this book five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish their was a second
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hey whats up thanks this book is magical amazing fun and active specal thanks too mcklu mommy dada and arik
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool book had to read it this year in 4th grade
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read this book and its good it gets a little cheesy at the end but otherwise its ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for kids
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well its okay but not great. I read it in fourth grade and i thought it was fine in a bad way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is awesome book. Mr. Henshaw has a better relationship than his own dad does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for young readers & more than worthy of the Newberry Medal!
Tammy Prokopis More than 1 year ago
i love this book. i coulnt take my eyes off of it
Sophia Louwagie More than 1 year ago
i love this book! it is very fasinating!u should read it!:);)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book. This is one of those Very Special books that is meant to help children cope with Meaningful Issues. Most of Beverly Cleary's books seem designed to entertain, although I must say she got more bogged down in social issues even in the later Ramona books (Oh no! Dad lost his job! How will the family cope?) instead of telling us something funny about Ramona and a boy she has a crush on, which would be a much more realistic concern for a typically self-centered child. I can see why she originally published this under a different name, because it's such an afterschool-special type of story, and not what most people would be looking for from her. In my opinion, sometimes adults place too much importance on issues they think should concern children, and that's how a book like this wins an award. Very few children would ever pick this book up and read it for its entertainment value alone. It's purely an assignment type of book.
jl221 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this Newberry award winning book by Beverly Cleary, a young boy begins writing back and forth with his favorite author after being assigned to do so by his teacher. At first, the letters are one sided with no response from the author, Mr. Henshaw. The boy, Leigh Botts, is diligent about writing Mr. Henshaw and ulitmately begins to get some response in the form of postcards and a few letters. Leigh relates to Mrs. Henshaw that he wants to become a famous author like him. When asked what he should do to become an author, Mr. Henshaw simply replies, "write!" Mr. Henshaw gives Leigh a set of questions to answer. At first, Leigh is mad because it feels to him like another school assignment. When the family's television breaks, Leigh begrudingly decides to use his time to answer Mr. Henshaw's questions. As Leigh writes letters and answers the questions, it is revealed among other things that he is a young boy dealing with the divorce of his parents. For the remainder of the book, Leigh goes back and forth from writing real lettes to Mr. Henshaw to keeping a diary in which he begins each entry to a pretend Mr. Henshaw. The book concludes with an opportunity for Leigh to meet a real author who in turn calls him an author, and an opportunity to gain some understanding of his relationship with his often unengaged father.I enjoyed reading this book to my daughter who just finished 2nd grade. The format of the book as a series of letters and diary entries was very interesting. My daughter and I could hardly put down the book each night. In fact, we only stopped reading when my daughter fell asleep. We have enjoyed reading many of Beverly Cleary's books. We also feel somewhat of a special connection to her as she has (now grown) twin children (a boy and girl) and my daughter has a twin brother. Cleary does a good job of capturing the thoughts and emotions of a child dealing with real life issues. From dealing with a bully to navigating the relationships in a struggling family, the characters and their interactions seem quite genuine.
vibrantminds on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Leigh Botts is given a class assignment to write to his favorite author. Instead of answering all of his questions the author, Mr. Henshaw, asks him to answer some questions about himself. In turn a correspondence between the two ensues and continues over the years. Although it is mostly one sided and Leigh does most of the correspondence, by writing he is able to better cope with life's frustrations and begins to discover who he is.
jlowens4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Dear Mr. Henshaw" is a book about a little boy who's parents are getting a divorce. In the book, Beverly Cleary displays some of Leigh's private journal entries. This shows the reader just how a boy would feel about his parents going through a divorce. Leigh has to realize that his parents are not getting back together. I loved reading this book and I think that it would be great in any teacher's library.
njhollis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is written in first person by a nine year old boy named Leigh Botts. He writes letters to his favorite author as a way to cope with his parents divorce. It chronicles the life of Leigh through sadness and disappointment while dealing with ordinary problems.
Sclarke23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This intriging book is about a boy, Leigh Botts, writing his favorite author. As you read along its obvious of his growth in langauge art and letter writting. I think because I've read this book already that i'm a little biased, but it is indeed a great book. The assignment that will create for this book would be that each student to write one of there favorite author.
cnwilliamson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book follows the life of Leigh Botts, a young boy with divorced parents who writes letters to his favorite author in an attempt to cope with loneliness and the pain he feels from his parents¿ divorce. The story reads like Leigh¿s diary, as he reveals his secret struggles. A Newbery medal winner, this book is an enjoyable account of a young boy¿s journey growing up.
AnissaAndrews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beverly Cleary tells the story of Lea Botts as he deals with his parents' divorce, his fathers absence, and a lunch theif. Encouraged by his favorite author, Lea learns to work through his troubles through journaling.