This book has always been one of my favorites, and it’s probably been 20 years or so since I last read it. It holds up in some pretty spectacular ways. It’s a series of letters and diary entries by a boy in elementary school writing to an author he admires. The first couple of letters are directly in response to being assigned to read a book by the author and then send the letter. He ends up biting off more than he can chew because Mr. Henshaw writes him back a list of questions. He begrudgingly writes answers back to all of them. As he grows a little, he better understands that his attitude is rude and that Mr. Henshaw put care into his responses, and so he apologizes and begins writing in a diary. As he writes in his diary we begin to see a little more of the trauma the boy has gone through — nothing serious, but also not not serious. We watch Leigh Botts develop as a person through his writing, and we definitely see him develop as a writer. It’s a book that was quite informative and formative for me as a young reader and I’ve thought about it a lot in more recent years. It was also an important book because it showed me the value of having books that you really love and can return to, and books written in diary entries, but especially epistolary novels have been among my very favorites. This book was just one of those books that set me up for life.