Henry and the Paper Route, by Beverly Cleary, 1957, Book Review

henry and the paper routeMy boys absolutely love Henry Huggins. These books may be over fifty years old, but the world of Klickitat Street still rings true. Families still have dogs. Little sisters are still pests. Neighbor kids still have squabbles. And boys still have dreams.

Henry and the Paper Route, ten-year-old Henry Huggins dreams of having a paper route of his very own. He fancies himself a true businessman, and he wouldn’t mind a little extra money to string up a telephone line between his room and that of his best friend, Robert. The trouble is, the newspaper only hires eleven-year-olds. When he does finally earn a route, four-year-old Ramona threatens to ruin everything.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty big Beverly Cleary fan. There’s an innocence to her stories that I find refreshing. She does such a great job inventing characters that every kid can relate to, and their interaction is entertaining. Her stories always reminds me of my own childhood on Marcus Street. And my boys, who are roughly the same ages as the character and still living out their own squabbles with their own neighborhood kids, can’t wait to hear what happens next. No matter that the book was written during their grandfathers’ childhood, kids will be kids. And a writer with the ability to create a story with such long-lasting appeal is quite a writer indeed.

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