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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Book Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Cleary, Beverly. Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1983.
Dear Mr. Henshaw,
I wish somebody would stop stealing the good stuff out of my lunchbag. I guess I wish a lot of other things, too. I wish someday Dad and Bandit would pull up in front in the rig ... Dad would yell out of the cab, "Come on, Leigh. Hop in and I'll give you a lift to school."
Leigh Botts has been writing to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw, since he was in the second grade. Now he is in sixth grade and dealing with the divorce of his parents. Through his letters and journal entries (which are still addressed to Mr. Henshaw) we learn of his fears, concerns, and fun adventures.
What a powerful, moving story. And brilliantly told. I want to write to an author. This story just inspires me to start writing, it reminds me of all that is good and beautiful in it. And the personal story is phenomenal. There is so much characterization in such simple words. No one can capture the juvenile voice quite like Beverley Cleary can. There is just enough humor to keep kids interested, and just enough drama to keep the adults riveted. Another Newbery winner, this book is living proof that simplicity is something the most moving.

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