Dear Mr. Henshaw
By Beverly Cleary
New York, 2000
Reviewed by Laura Harting
|Illustration by Paul O. Zelinsky|
Illustrated to appeal to a child in late elementary or early middle school, this book of fiction tells the story of a young boy whose father and mother separate and divorce. Leigh has a school assignment to write to an author and ask three questions. He chooses to write to Boyd Henshaw, the author of his favorite book, a dog training guide he has read many times. The author responds and then asks him several questions in return. Much to Leigh’s dismay his mother limits his access to TV until he answers all of the questions the author has asked. After several letters, Leigh finds writing to be something that is not so bad and takes Henshaw’s suggestion to write in a journal. Leigh’s journal entries describe his life, home situation, feelings, and thoughts about many things, especially his parents' divorce.
Despite the age of this book, I think children today will find it relatable and readable.
|Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients at her office in Paoli, Pennsylvania.|