Beverly Cleary's Newbery Medal-winning book explores the thoughts and emotions of a sixth-grade boy, Leigh Botts, in letter form as he writes to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw. After his parents separate, Leigh Botts moves to a new town with his mother. Struggling to make friends and deal with his anger toward his absent father, Leigh loses himself in a class assignment in which he must write to his favorite author. When Mr. Henshaw responds, the two form an unexpected friendship that will change Leigh's life forever. "Dear Mr. Henshaw, I wasn't going to answer any more of your questions, but Mom won't get the TV repaired because she says it was rotting my brain. This is Thanksgiving vacation and I am so bored I decided to answer a couple of your rotten questions with my rotten brain. (Joke.) Your pooped reader, Leigh Botts" -from Dear Mr. Henshaw. When Leigh Botts was in the second grade, he wrote a thank you letter to Boyd Henshaw, the author of his favorite book, Ways to Amuse a Dog. In the 6th grade, Leigh writes to Mr. Henshaw again with a list of questions he needs answered for a class assignment on authors. To Leigh's irritation, Mr. Henshaw not only refuses to answer his questions in time to complete the assignment, but he sends back a list of his own questions to Leigh instead. That marks the beginnings of a very unusual correspondence, between a lonely boy trying to cope with his parents' divorce, and a wise author who gives him a means of changing his life forever.