Cleary, B. (1983). Dear Mr. Henshaw. NY: Morrow.
Dear Mr. Henshaw is about a boy, Lee, who is forced to write letters to an author for school and continues doing so even after the assignment is finished. He makes Mr. Henshaw his confidante and tells him about his divorced family and how he feels. His letter writing helps him come to terms with his parents’ divorce and allows himself to learn how to express himself through a journal.
I used this book to teach ELA TEK 2.19(B) write short letters that put ideas in a chronological or logical sequence and use appropriate conventions (e.g., date, salutation, closing). I had my students read the book in groups and identify the parts of a letter. Then I had them develop their own letter writing skills and write letters to their favorite authors.