Summaries & Reviews

  • This book is about a boy named Leigh Botts who writes to his favorite author. Leigh's author never writes back. Some of this book is funny,and some of this book is very sad. Leigh's mom and dad are divorced and Leigh's dad drives a semi-truck. Leigh always dreams about his dad driving into the gas station next door to their house. One day Leigh's dad does come and vist Leigh.
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw was about a boy who was writing letters to Mr. Henshaw about his problems in school. The boys name is Leigh Botts. Once he wrote a book report for school and asked different questions to Mr. Henshaw. Mr. Henshaw asked Leigh some questions and was helpful.Leigh also wrote about putting an alarm system in his lunch box so people wouldn't steal his lunch.
  • In this 1984 Newbery Medal winner, ten year old Leigh writes to his favorite author, Mr.Henshaw and reveals to him the problems that he is having dealing with his parent's divorce and his concerns about being the new kid in school. Mr. Henshaw encourages Leigh to put his thoughts in a diary. A story about finding our own way in the world.
  • In his letters to his favourite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw is about a boy named Leigh Botts who has a divorced family. The boy doesn’t get to see his Dad a lot of the time. He writes him letters and makes phone calls. Leigh Botts also has a caring mother that takes care of him. There is a stepfamily issue when his Dad finds another person who he wants to marry that also has a son. Leigh Botts doesn’t like this at all because this boy is calling his Dad over the phone to come to the Pizza Parlor with him. Leigh is very jealous and upset.
  • When fourth-grader Leigh Botts asks Mr. Henshaw to write to him personally, he gets more than he bargained for. Mr. Henshaw's letters are full of questions, and Leigh is getting tired of answering them. But as he continues his correspondence with his favorite author, he not only gets plenty of tips on writing, but he also finds a wise and thoughtful friend to whom he can tell his troubles.
  • In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
  • First there was Henry Huggins … then Beezus and Ramona … now Beverly Cleary introduces a spunky new character named Leigh Botts, age ten. Leigh has been Boyd Henshaw's Number One fan ever since his second grade teacher read aloud Ways to Amuse a Dog. Now in the sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is "the new kid" in school. Troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country tracker, and angry because a mysterious lunchbag thief steals all the "good stuff" from his lunch, Leigh feels his only friend is Mr. Fridley, the school custodian. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a project that requires writing letters asking questions of authors. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life. Told through a series of letters to Leigh's favorite author, and later through Leigh's diary, this is a wise and funny book about finding one's own place in the world. Written with Beverly Cleary's unique blend of humor and compassion, Dear Mr. Henshaw will soon take its place beside the author's other beloved classics.
  • A boy reveals his loneliness in his letters to an author.
  • Leigh Botts is a boy growing up with a single mom in a city where he doesn't have many friends. He takes up writing as a hobby and a way to elicit a friendship. He usually writes to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. In Dear Mr. Henshaw, author Beverly Cleary lets us get close to Leigh, helps us identify with his struggle to be liked in schoool and lets us sympathize with his efforts to develop a heartfelt relationship with his father. When the book starts out, Leigh writes to Mr. Henshaw, a famous author he looks up to as a role model. Since Leigh is in a new town, he doesn't have many friends and writing to Mr. Henshaw is something he finds comforting. Occasionally the author will write back, always encouraging Leigh to work on his writing in school and at home, in a journal. When Leigh starts his journal, he doesn't seem to know where to begin. He addresses each entry "Dear Mr. Pretend Henshaw." It is through his journal that we see Leigh's desire to be liked by other kids in his class and his sadness over the fact that his father never seems to do what he says he's going to do, like call often. Leigh slowly becomes more courageous as he writes, working through his problems in his journal. He confronts his father about his inability to follow through on promises and makes steps toward understanding why his dad and mom divorced. There comes a point when it's clear Leigh doesn't need Mr. Henshaw anymore, at least not in the way he did at the beginning of the book. Dear Mr. Henshaw is a book that many kids will identify with. Kids have role models, kids come from families broken apart by divorce and kids desire to fit in with other kids at school. Beverly Cleary does a wonderful job of capturing the feelings and thoughts of a young, growing boy. The manner in which the book is written, as a series of letters and journal entries, will likely appeal to most young readers because of it seems very personal and real.
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw is about a boy who read a book that was written by Mr.Henshaw and decides to write to him. He keeps writing and asks Mr.Henshaw a lot of questions. Mr. Henshaw tells him to start a journal so he does, and it turns out to be a suscess. In this book you read all of the letters to Mr. Henshaw and from his journal and get to see what kind of problems he has to go thru.
  • The main characters in Dear Mr. Henshaw are Leigh Botts, Mr. Neely and Mr. Henshaw. The story takes place at a school in the city. Leigh's teacher is making the class write author reports to improve their writing skills. Leigh decides to write to Mr. Henshaw about a problem that he is having at school. His problem is that someone at school is stealing the best part of his lunch every day. In the beginning of the story, Leigh Botts decides to build an alarm for his lunch box. He goes to the library and checks out some books on electricity. In the middle of the story, Leigh goes to the hardware store and buys an ordinary flashlight, a small battery, and a cheap doorbell. At the end of the story , Leigh builds an alarm for his lunch box. Leigh's alarm went off at school during lunch, only because he accidentally opened it. He never caught the burglar. He wrote about the entire incident and entered his story in the Young Writers Yearbook which won fourth place. He ends up having lunch with Mrs. Badger, the author of "A day on Dad's Rig". He had never known a real live author before. At the end of the story Leigh feels more secure because nobody is stealing his lunch anymore due to the new alarm. I really liked the story because of the way Leigh wrote down all of his ideas in his diary. I think it was a good idea for Leigh to make an alarm for his lunch box. It made me think of him as an intelligent and clever person. I hope that someday I can invent something like he did.
  • When Leigh Botts was in second grade he started writing letters to an author named Mr. Henshaw. The letters started out in admiration for a book that Henshaw had written called Ways to Amuse a Dog. For a report in sixth grade, Leigh sends another letter to Mr. Henshaw that contains a list of questions. Unexpectedly, Mr. Henshaw asked a few questions of his own. Slowly, Leigh replies, complaining all the way. One of the questions Leigh asks is..."10. Please give me some tips on how to write a book....I want to know so I can get to be a famous author and write books exactly like yours." Mr. Henshaw suggests that Leigh start a journal. The remainder of the book is made up of letters in the journal and further letters to Mr. Henshaw. Though these letters, Leigh expresses his feelings about his parents divorce and discovers a great deal about himself.
  • A Newbery Award winner. When Leigh writers author Mr. Henshaw, he begins a prolonged series of letters between the two strangers. Through his correspondence, Leigh learns how to use a diary to express his daily worries and joys and how to cope with his parents' divorce. His letters and journal entries describe a creative solution to repeated theft of his lunch, loneliness caused by his father's long absences, and gradual development of Leigh's ability to communicate on paper.
  • An amazing book of letters to an author and when the main character Leigh asks the author some questions for a school book report he is rather taken aback when he gets questions himself. The author suggests to Leigh that he starts a Diary. In this book there are parts of his Diary- about his parents divorce, his lunch bag thief, how he solves his problem at school, how he feels when he rings his dad and finds out that his dad has lost Leigh’s most favourite pal-Bandit, suprises at Christmas and their new home etc.
  • Leigh has a lot of things on his mind. His parents are divorced, and he never gets to see his truck-driving father, he doesn’t have any friends, and someone keeps stealing things out of his lunchbox. He writes all of his thoughts to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. Beverly Cleary shows another side to her talent—writing about serious matters through the eyes of a boy in a difficult time.
  • This is one book that even adults should read at least once. It is a story about a boy that is new in town called Leigh Botts, and spills his heart out to an author, Mr. Henshaw. You can actually feel what he is feeling, when his father calls him and tells him that he has lost Leigh's beloved dog, Bandit. He cry's in anger. So did I. Leigh is tired of his father calling him 'kid'. He wants him to call him Leigh, LEIGH. How he made the lunch box alarm, and how proud Mr. Botts was, felt like a fire burning inside. Another part made Leigh broken-hearted was when he hears another boy talk to his father...like it really was his father. Like Leigh Botts didn't exist. But when his father comes back to ask Leighs mother if they'll ever be a family again, although Mrs. Botts says no, I felt reassured that his father cared for him more than anything. I'm sure Leigh did too.
  • This book is a great book for any child to read, but may be better associated with children experiencing the problems of divorce and of making friends. I enjoyed it because Clearly writes with a charisma that draws you into the books. I read it in one sitting and felt like the little boy, Leigh, was just about real because of all of the details that Clearly supplies, from his dog to the problems with his father, he is an accurate protrayal of a real child, and that is what makes this book a great buy and quality reading.
  • Leigh Botts begins to write his favorite author,Mr. Henshaw.Mr. Henshaw's letters inspire Leigh to keep a journal,which help him to become a better writer, while helping him cope withhis parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and finding his own place in the world. Leigh is faced with problems at school when a lunch bag bandit continues to steal treats out of his lunch, problems at home concerning his neglecting father, who doesn't call when he says he will and doesn't visit when he promises. As a young girl I always loved reading Beverly Cleary books. That's why I chose to review Dear Mr. Henshaw. I really enjoyed reading this book. It is full of many emotions happiness, sadness, cruelty, that can relate to any child in almost any situation. Hardships Leigh experienced, both in school and in his personal family life are very similar to many of the hardships children in this society are facing everyday. Children may be interested in knowing that the hardships they face at home are not uncommon and they are not alone. Children who are more fortunate may be interested in the book as well, they may learn to appreciate their lives a little more. I recommend that children perhaps in grades three through six read a book of this nature and I strongly believe they will find it very enjoyable. This isn't a book I would choose to read aloud, it is something I feel to be quietly read alone. I would definitely read more books by this author. I am already familiar with Beverly Cleary's work and I enjoy reading her novels.
  • When, in second grade, Leigh writes to an author to tell him how much he "licked" his book, he never suspects that he'll still be writing to him four years later. And he never imagines the kinds of things he'll be writing about:

    Dear Mr. Henshaw, I am sorry I was rude in my last letter... Maybe I was mad about other things, like Dad forgetting to send this month's support payment. Mom tried to phone him at the trailer park where, as Mom says, he hangs his hat. It's not easy being the new kid in town, with recently divorced parents, no dog anymore, and a lunch that gets stolen every day (all the "good stuff," anyway).

    Writing letters, first to the real Mr. Henshaw, and then in a diary to a pretend Mr. Henshaw, may be just what he needs. This Newbery Medal-winning book, by the terrifically popular and prolific Beverly Cleary, exhibits a subtlety and sensitivity that will be appreciated by any youngster who feels lonely and troubled during the transition into adolescence. Winner of numerous other awards, including two Newbery Honors, Cleary teams up with Caldecott winner Paul O. Zelinsky, who creates a quiet backdrop for the realistic characters. - Review by Emilie Coulter