Author Beverly Cleary was a champion of books written specifically for boys. As a children’s librarian, she often had trouble finding books that elementary-age boys were interested in. Her frustration prompted her to write a book called “Henry Huggins” in 1950. It featured an ordinary boy named Henry, who finds a stray dog and wants to keep him.
The book was so well received that Ms. Cleary wrote more books about Henry and his dog Ribsy. Boys – and girls – kept reading her books, and she kept writing more for them. Even today, you will find her books in school libraries and in classrooms. Her formula for success was in keeping it realistic. She wrote about things that most kids encounter, regardless of whether it is 1954 or 2021.
I have been reading the book aloud to my grandson. We both found the story about Henry being given garbage duty to be hilarious. Nobody really wants to take out the garbage every day, but Henry gets stuck with the responsibility. It turns out to be a harder chore than he thinks.
And then there is the chapter about the bad haircut Henry suffers at the hands of his mom, who is trying to save a little money by buying some clippers on sale and being the barber herself. As you might suspect, the haircut looks terrible, and Henry tries to hide his butchered hair under a sailor’s hat. Every kid who has had a bad haircut can relate to this story!
Don’t be afraid to try out an older children’s story. Some things remain the same over the years, and the young boy in your life is bound to love this book!