Dear Mr Henshaw is a children's book by best selling author Beverly Cleary. It follows the story of a young boy called Leigh Botts who does not like his name because people think he is a girl. The book ingeniously tells Leigh's story through his letters to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw, and later through entries in a diary he has started to keep as a writing exercise. After his parents' divorce Leigh's life changes and he does not like the new situation he finds himself in and becomes increasingly angry with both of his parents. He is the new kid in school without any friends and not even a television to watch as his mom refuses to get it fixed. However, when he manages to invent a burglar alarm for his lunchbox to prevent someone taking all of the best things out of his lunch, he starts tto make friends, and finding out that his father does actually miss him makes him start to feel less angry. This novel is a heart-tugging portrait of a boy whose life is negatively affected by his parents' divorce, and of the tumult of emotions within him that he can only seem to untangle on paper.
Beverly Cleary is on of the nation's most popular authors and has won many of the literary world's highest honors, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal and the Newberry Honors List. Dear Mr Henshaw was awarded the prestigious John Newberry Medal in 1984.