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Dear Mr. Henshaw

by Beverly Cleary illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky


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    • Grades: 3 - 5
    • Ages: 8 - 11
    Newbery Medal ; Caldecott Artist
    • Format: Paperback Book
      Paperback Book
Short Summary
In this touching and heartfelt story, a young boy reveals his hopes, his fears, his likes, and his dislikes through a series of letters to his favorite author.

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Leigh Botts was only in second grade when he started writing Boyd Henshaw, author of Ways to Amuse a Dog. Leigh was a big fan of the book, so he wrote to the author again (and again) the following year, hoping to get a response that he could post on his classroom bulletin board. He eventually hears from the writer—and a pen-pal friendship begins to bloom.

Even though Mr. Henshaw's responses are not as frequent as the boy's letters, Leigh learns quite a bit. He learns writers need to write (often) to become better at what they do. He learns to develop his own unique voice. And he learns that writing about his struggles—his parents' divorce, missing his dad, a bully at school—can help him deal with some of the pain he's feeling.
​​​​​​​ Ink sketches and letter entries make this poignant piece fresh, approachable, and a joy to read.

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Product Details

    • Grades: 3 - 5
    • Ages: 8 - 11
  • Product Type: Book
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 1/4" x 7 5/8"
  • Language: English
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-590-68727-0

About the Author

Beverly Cleary is the Newbery Medal–winning author of more than 30 books for children. When she was a young girl, Ms. Cleary lived in a town so small it had no library. Perhaps it was this lack of books on hand that led the author to write the kinds of books (and create the many characters) she wished she could have encountered as child. Beverly Cleary's books are full of charming adventure and are beloved for their warmth, wit, and welcoming feel.