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Friday, December 12, 2014

An old standby you probably need in your classroom library

Cleary, Beverly  (1983)  Dear Mr. Henshaw  New York:  Scholastic

Leigh Botts is a typical kid.  He is sometimes confused about why his mom and dad got a divorce and what he is supposed to be accomplishing in school and what he is going to do with his life and why the letter he wrote to a famous author when he was in second grade never got answered.  So he writes again.  And again..  And when Mr. Henshaw replies, Leigh isn't afraid to express his opinion.  The letters serve as the framing story for a book about a kid growing up (most of it takes place during his sixth grade year. We see Leigh learn ho to deal with bullies, learn how to accept his parents divorce, and grow into a strong writer. 

This book was written in 1983.  Cell phones are noticeably absent, as is email.  But the story at the core is one that kids can relate to deeply.  If you teach third grade through sixth, you should have this book on your shelf.  If you've got kids that age, you might want to pick up a copy too.   

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