These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.
--Gilbert Highet

Young readersElementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readers
9 stars

Dear Mr. Henshaw

AR: 4.9
Lexile: 910
RC: 4.7
by Beverly Cleary     Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky
Normal-length Novel
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Original post — Thursday, August 23, 2007
Newberry Medal Award

Leigh writes a letter to the author of his favorite book as part of a classroom assignment. Over the course of a couple years, Leigh (boy) learns a lot about this author and a lot about himself. He becomes inspired and encouraged by Mr. Henshaw to write about what he knows and he writes a story for a school contest where the prize is getting to meet a real live author! Unfortunately, he does not win, but all is not lost for Leigh.

     I love this book! It is written as a series of letters and journal entries, mistakes and all! As we read, we can see Leigh growing as an author and as a person. I love reading this book to students because there is so much "between the lines" to discover together. As you read, you become more and more connected to Leigh. When he gets hurt (emotionally) because of things like divorce, you feel bad for him. Likewise, when he feels good about himself, you are glad! This is what books should do! I highly recommend this book to everyone!

(Last modified:08/24/2007)

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