Dear Mr. Henshaw is a young adult novel by Beverly Cleary. Centered on themes of growing up, the struggles of divorce, attempts to fit in, and the development of creativity, the epistolary novel was awarded the Newberry Medal in 1984. In this lesson, students will research author Beverly Cleary, define and discuss the “epistolary” form of the work, and analyze the first letter from Leigh to Mr. Henshaw.
Research Assignment: Conduct research on author Beverly Cleary. How many young adult and children’s books has Cleary written? What awards has she won? When was Dear Mr. Henshaw published and how was it received by critics and the public?
Class Activity: As a class, define “epistolary” and discuss the characteristics of this style of literature. What documents can be used to make up an epistolary work of fiction? How does this literary style develop greater realism to...
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