Another Beverly Cleary classic.
Grade 4-7-- Leigh Botts, the protagonist of the Newbery winner Dear Mr. Henshaw (Morrow, 1983), is once again recording his thoughts on paper. While cleaning his room, he discovers his old diary and is inspired to start writing again. Now 14, he is still dealing with some of the same issues from earlier days--his parents' divorce, concerns about his father's sincerity and financial stability, and insecurities about his own identity and popularity. He also has a few new worries--namely Geneva, a girl, and Strider, a dog. Leigh and his friend Barry find the abandoned pooch on the beach and decide to try "joint custody." It is not the perfect arrangement. Because Leigh's attachment to Strider fills the emotional voids in his life, he becomes reluctant to share him. Eventually, the two boys work through the tensions that threaten their friendship. At the same time, Leigh and his father develop a new understanding. Although the story is centered aroung Leigh's relationship with Strider, this is more than just "a boy and his dog" book. Cleary's talent for portraying the details of everyday life--both small and significant--is evident here. Her characters are unique individuals and "every children" at the same time. Strider lacks the subtle poignancy found in Dear Mr. Henshaw , and some readers may find Leigh's interest and responses more appropriate for an 11 or 12 year old than a 14 year old, but Cleary's fans will relate to his challenges and triumphs--whether or not they've read the first title
Nice Beverly Cleary read.
The long-awaited sequel to the Newbery award-winning classic Dear Mr. Henshaw.
Beverly Cleary is the best!