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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1983 Beverly Cleary (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A first-rate, poignant story...a lovely, well-crafted, three-dimensional work." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Dear Mr. Henshaw

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Undimmed by 37 years.

I read about the passing of Beverly Cleary yesterday, and I was reminded of this book that was a favorite of mine when I was a child. I remember at the time it felt a little bit like cheating, because the epistolary format lends itself to fast page turning.

Could that nine-year-old boy have imagined this 46-year-old man whose wife died last year, who is now dating a divorcee with a 10-year-old child? Would it surprise him to know that he still relates so keenly to these ordinary feelings of injustice, abandonment, and loneliness that animate these letters?

I remember thinking as a child that at times, Leigh’s growing wisdom was something adults want for kids, rather than something that felt true to the character. I would add that we wish it for the child inside ourselves, because life can be cruel and out of our control. In such times, we remember that child we were, and call upon their resourcefulness.

This story is true and immense, forgiving and small, and completely unforgettable. I was shocked how many things I still remembered, and how many behaviors I have observed in the 10-year-old in my life.

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the reader wasn't very good

the narrarator stayed the same sitting the books entirety even thought characters grows up a lot in the book. he also made the protagonist seem slow.

2 people found this helpful

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wonderful

I always love Beverly Cleary and this has been one favorite books for most of my life.

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Loved This Story!

I really loved the way this story was written. The narrator's voice alone projected so much of Leigh's emotion, especially the loneliness he was feeling. And I wonder if Beverly Cleary wrote this story for young readers who dream about being an author. Even if she didn't have that intention, I believe that message comes across loud and clear.

If you know any middle schoolers who dream about becoming an author or are dealing with divorced parents or loneliness, give them this book to read!

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Dear Mr Henshaw

I didn't think I would enjoy this story written as a diary but I could feel the boy's emotions. it's easy to read and could help children who are going through parents divorcing. I give this book a solid A.

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Just as good as I remember

Awesome! Brought back great memories! Tgis book is truly a classic for me. I remember reading this in junior high...30 years ago and the storyline is still poignant. Makes me feel like I could be a writer some day. How quickly it can transport you to days gone by!

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Review from a 10 year old

I really enjoyed this book because I’ve always wanted to be an author. I also enjoy I’m using my dog. That is why I liked this book.

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Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw is a good book with a lot of details. This book is about a young boy named Lee Bots . Lee sends letters to Mr. Henshaw about his books , and for school. Lee gets mad when Mr. Henshaw gives him questions . His mom makes him answer them , but he Ansers with your discussed reader. Mr. Henshaw gives Lee an idea to write in a diary. It works! He writes a lot of things and in joys it . He writes a book for school and gets to eat lunch with an author. The author called Lee an author . Lee was very happy. He had a problems with his lunch other kids kept taking the good stuff , so he made an alarm for it. His parents are devorsed. His dad is always on the road. Lee's mom makes treats for partys . Dear Mr. Henshaw is an outstanging book

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Enchanting

Pedro Pascal was a great choice for this absolutely wonderful classic. I was enchanted from beginning to end.

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Perfect

This book is a awesome book!! It really shows feelings. I require it for young ones!