Leigh Botts, the protagonist of Dear Mr. Henshaw, is a boy struggling to come to terms with his parent’s separation. Initially self-conscious about revealing his personal information, Leigh matures in part through his writings, both in communicating with the author he admires and in keeping his own journal. At first, Leigh considers himself average—“plain” and “the mediumest boy” in his class—but his opinion that others pay little attention to him reveals his lonely side as well. Leigh is observant, diligent, and sometimes insightful. Living with his mother, he is generally obedient and follows her suggestions, such as applying himself to writing and not lazing around aimlessly, and he seems to emulate her studiousness. Although Leigh idolizes his father, he also grows jealous when he realizes there is another boy in his father’s life; his increasing self-knowledge is shown by his admitting to his father’s limited attitude toward parental responsibilities.