Book review: Dear Mr. Henshaw

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Author:Beverly Cleary
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 8 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Year of publication:1983

A boy who aspires to become a writer learns about being a writer by writing to one.
My ten year old daughter felt somewhat cheated by the author's technique of presenting all the letters to Mr. Henshaw and none of the letters from him. I, on the other hand, think Cleary moves the plot along quite nicely in this way. When, in the middle of the book, the correspondence shifts to being in a diary rather than an exchange of letters, my daughter responded much more positively.

Anyway, we both got into the story of Leigh Botts, son of a newly-divorced trucker and a catering assistant.

Wishing all those reluctant or aspiring writers out there their own Mr. Henshaw!

-- Emily Berk

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