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Dear Mr. Henshaw

Dear Mr. Henshaw, written by Beverly Cleary, is the story of a little boy named Leigh Botts. Leigh Botts is a young boy who lives with his divorced mother and misses his father a lot. The tale is told through various letters that have been sent to Mr. Boyd Henshaw, a novelist who never emerges as a character in the book and Leigh's favorite author. The letters continually show development as Leigh grows up and also reveal his intention of becoming a writer. As the book progresses, the letters soon turn into diary entries which are still titled to Mr. Henshaw. In the book, we never see a reply from Mr. Henshaw, but quite apparently, he replies to Leigh telling him that the best thing a writer can do is keep a diary. When Leigh starts to write his diary, his salutations are still in the form of letters to Mr. Henshaw (salutation: Dear Mr. Pretend Henshaw), but as Leigh matures he decides that there is no point in addressing it if he won't send it. Constantly, the diary reveals Leigh's true feelings about his life, including his loneliness at school, a bully stealing his lunch everyday, and mostly about the sorrow he has over his parents divorce and father's absence. Unlike many of Cleary's novels, Dear Mr. Henshaw is not part of a series but many years later, it came out with a sequel, Strider. The book clearly shows that Cleary knows the voices of children.