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Dear Mr. Henshaw

(Grade 5 Theme 4 Selection 4 Summary)

Dear Mr. Henshaw is the story of Leigh Botts, told in his own words through entries in Leigh's diary. In the second grade, Leigh began writing to Boyd Henshaw, his favorite author. Those letters led to the diary he now keeps. Leigh's parents are divorced, and Leigh doesn't see much of his dad, a truck driver who is almost always traveling. At school, Leigh decides to enter a writing contest. The top winners get to have lunch with a famous author. At first, Leigh tries to write an imaginary story, but he doesn't like any of his ideas. He then decides to write about a time when he rode in his dad's truck while his dad was delivering grapes. A few days later, Leigh finds out that his story has received Honorable Mention in the writing contest. At first he is disappointed that he wasn't one of the top winners. Then he learns that he can have lunch with the author, too. During lunch, Leigh sits across from Angela Badger, the author. She asks him what he wrote for the contest. When she discovers that he is the author of A Day on Dad's Rig, she tells him how much she liked it. She encourages him to keep writing. Leigh is especially pleased that she has called him an author. Leigh is very proud of himself. That night, he writes a letter to Mr. Henshaw to share the good news about his writing.

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