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Extended Audio Sample Dear Mr. Henshaw Audiobook, by Beverly Cleary Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,332 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Beverly Cleary Narrator: Pedro Pascal Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Leigh Botts Series Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9780061762666
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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 author Boyd Henshaw's number one fan ever since he was in second grade. Now in sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is the new kid at school. He's lonely, troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country trucker, and angry because a mysterious thief steals from his lunchbag. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a letter-writing project. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A first-rate, poignant story...a lovely, well-crafted, three-dimensional work.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] poignant story.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “This amusing, often touching series of letters from Leigh Botts to a children’s book author he admires again demonstrates Cleary’s right-on perception of a kid’s world.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Cleary succeeds again. [Her] sense of humor leavens and lightens.” 

    School Library Journal

  • Winner of the 1984 Newbery Medal
  • Winner of the 1984 Christopher Award
  • An 1983 ALA Notable Book for Children
  • A 1983 School Library Journal Best Book
  • A 1983 New York Times Notable Book for Children
  • Winner of the 1985 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 2/1/2014

    " A good book for a 8-12 year old boy who is missing his father due to a divorce. In this story Leigh(boy) longs for his father to call him and want to take him somewhere after the divorce of his parents. In place of his father, he writes to Mr. Henshaw an author who responds to Leigh's needs through letter writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Alanis | 1/26/2014

    " I enjoyed reading this book, which is interestingly in letter format. Leigh Botts wants to be an author when he grows up. He wants to achieve his dream and even writes to his favorite author through mail and postcards. Leigh expresses his tragedies in his life to Mr. Henshaw. The theme in this book is hope, even if you are going though tough times in life and come across many obstacles you can still be what you want to be or achieve your dreams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy Kolata | 1/14/2014

    " This is a book that I really enjoyed reading because I love the voice ans style it is written in and most of all, I love the main character who seems like he could easily be one of my students. The story begins when the main character is in second grade and assigned to write a letter to an author. Unfortunately, Leigh chose the author who decided to ask questions about Leigh rather than answer the questions Leigh asked - and Leigh's mother makes Lee answer them all! Although he is frustrated that his mom is making him do extra work, he actually begins to enjoy writing to his pen pal- after all, the tv is broken anyway. Because of the sincere first-person voice throughout the story, readers develop a strong relationship with Lee. They experience his frustration as someone steals from his lunch, they want to keep Leigh company while his mom works two jobs so they can live in their house, and they hope for Leigh's dad and dog to come visit and bring a little bit of sunshine to his life. Most of all, they want to continue reading to find out if the author ever writes back to Leigh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 1/4/2014

    " When I was little, this book inspiried me to continue working toward my dream of becoming a writer. =) Now that I'm older, it's still one of my favorite books. It's such a great story of strength, hope, and being who you are. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jen | 1/3/2014

    " I absolutely hate this book. There are few books that I hate as much as this one. Reading it in 3rd grade was intolerable. Sooooo boring and terrible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 1/3/2014

    " I remember reading this in 4th grade and not really liking it. Thank goodness I read it again b/c I just loved it. Highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgmarie | 1/1/2014

    " This book just brings back so many memories from elementary school. I think I read this book at least ten times. It is such a great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 12/31/2013

    " My mom read this book to me when i was little and i read it to my little brother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 12/22/2013

    " Really sweet story about young boy who turns to writing to cope with his parents' divorce and the life changes that accompany. Hit a little close to home in parts. Glad my youngest is reading this now as she can really relate. Interesting that she has started a journal since starting this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabriela Lawler | 12/17/2013

    " I love Beverly Cleary. My favorite are the Ramona serious but this one talks about the hardships a boy goes through with divorced parents and stolen lunches. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janessa | 11/11/2013

    " This is a sweet book. It deals with a hard topic in a sensitive way, and also has a lot of humor that got me laughing. I would recommend it to any middle aged child. It is definitely a keeper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Briana | 10/27/2013

    " I found this story much more poignant and sad the second time around. The boys enjoyed it and found it amusing in places, but I guess as a mother I focused on how sorry I felt for not only the boy, but for both his parents too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/19/2013

    " This book is cleverly told through letters from Leigh Botts to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw and later through Leigh "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D'Arcy Mattis | 8/25/2013

    " Read this in the third grade and really liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felicia | 2/25/2013

    " An interesting tell through a one way letters and a journal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liann Darby | 1/6/2013

    " Classic book about a boy dealing with his parents divorce and moving to a new city. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eunsol | 12/14/2012

    " it is not a good book!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne Kerfin | 11/24/2012

    " Written first person of a young boy in his letters to Mr. Henshaw and his journal entries. Mr. Henshaw is an author who helps Leigh value the reflective nature of journaling as he matures and learns how not to hate his father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin Stowe | 9/14/2012

    " This was a nice book of him growing up and getting help from his favorite author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita | 8/8/2012

    " Sad, but so true for single parent children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb S. | 3/22/2012

    " The way this book is formatted made it a very quick read. I read it in one sitting. My sons enjoyed this book too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hailey | 1/30/2012

    " I just finished reading this book for the first time, and it was an awesome book. The details were amazing and the book is good for a younger audience! (: "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Madi | 12/5/2011

    " I literally could *not* stomach this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julia | 11/28/2011

    " I read this in school. I would sit down and force myself to read it! It was really really boring (I thought, you might have a different opinion though!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chipmunk (Nanette) | 10/6/2011

    " This is a sad story about a boy who's parents are divorced. His father has a girlfriend and his dog even gets lost. Please read this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ali | 6/27/2011

    " A good book for an advanced early reader. The story of a young boy writing to.....Mr.Henshaw! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 6/26/2011

    " I enjoyed seeing the main character's writing ability improve but it was sadder than I was expecting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chloe | 6/25/2011

    " I disliked this book because I thought it was very predictible. I didn't feel a connections to Leigh in the story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bailey | 6/15/2011

    " i hated this book! i usaully love beverly cleary but not this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trenten | 6/14/2011

    " This book is a diary. It is very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Booklover123 | 6/8/2011

    " It was pretty good. We read it for school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 6/7/2011

    " This was a nice book of him growing up and getting help from his favorite author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 5/31/2011

    " It took me about 20 pages to get into the book and then I couldnt put it down. I love Beverly Cleary and her books usually catch my attention from the first few pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany | 5/26/2011

    " In this collection of touching letters to his favorite author, a young boy reveals his struggles in coping with life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Therese | 4/5/2011

    " This is a good book to recomend to a young boy (approximately 4th - 6th grade) who is dealing with divorce and/or moving to a new school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alissa | 4/4/2011

    " LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! A story about a boy who's father is always gone. He writes to his favorite author about his life and receives responses back. So sweet it made me cry. I loved this book. "

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About the Author
Author Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and until she was old enough to attend school she lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged to have books sent to their tiny town from the state library and acted as a librarian in a room over a bank. It was there that Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. Generations of children have grown up with Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph Mouse, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. Cleary continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of children of all ages throughout the world.