Friday, November 22, 2013

‘Dear Mr. Henshaw’ by Beverly Cleary

Cover image: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
The story of a young writer’s growing maturity is told in a series of letters. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary is an Oregon Battle of the Books featured title in the third- to fifth-grade division.

Leigh Botts, a sixth-grader in a new school, has been assigned by his teacher to write a letter to an author (the “Mr. Henshaw” of the title). The author responds by posing several questions for Leigh to answer.

Through his letters and diary entries, Leigh offers readers a wider glimpse at his life. His parents are divorced and someone is stealing food out of Leigh’s lunch at school.

As their correspondence progresses, Mr. Henshaw offers Leigh advice about his writing. The story offers an intriguing look at a young writer’s development.

Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program for third- through 12th-grade students. Books are chosen to expose students to a variety of literary styles and viewpoints.

According to its website, Oregon Battle of the Books often connects to the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice and Oregon Reader’s Choice awards.

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