Book Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw

by Melissa on January 6, 2010 · 0 comments

in 9-12, ATOS 4.0-4.9, Family & Relationships, Good book for boys, Lexile 900-999, School Life

Title:Dear Mr. Henshaw
Author:Beverly Cleary
Lexile: [?] 910L
ATOS Level: [?] 4.9
Parent Rating:
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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
GO For Ages: 9-12


In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents’ divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.


This is a sad book. Leigh’s parents are divorced and his father frequently breaks promises to him.  It is a pretty raw look at Leigh’s feelings. A good book for boys.


None [?]

Sexual Content



Mention of grandfather who drinks, insinuation that it is a lot.


Some bullying (lunch gets stolen, name calling).


Leigh has a difficult time adjusting to his new school. Parents are divorced. ‘Maybe I’m to blame for everything.’ ‘I hate my father.’Leigh wishes his mom was home to cook, frequently mentioning his unhappiness with what he is eating. There are several animal-related stories (a mother bear dying, the family dog being left in the cold) that reduce Leigh to tears. Some stereotyping about the subjects boys vs. girls write about for a class assignment (aliens, monsters vs. horses). ‘Some men aren’t very good at expressing their feelings.’



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Book Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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