Children's, Cleary-Beverly, Feel-Good, Fiction

#612 Henry and the Clubhouse by Beverly Cleary

Henry and the Clubhouse by Beverly ClearyHenry and the Clubhouse by Beverly Cleary

Henry wants to do something, but he just doesn’t know what. At one point he decides that he either wants to build a doghouse for Ribsy or a clubhouse, either would be fun. His neighbors are remodeling their bathroom and Henry gets to ride in the bathtub part of the way through town. He enjoys it until he remembered his paper route. Henry hurries to finish his route, which his mother already started.

Another neighbor is building a new garage and gives Henry all the wood from his current garage. Henry takes it, and with the help of two friends, begins building a clubhouse. The primary rule is that no girls are allowed. Henry doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with Beezus since he’s delivering papers and building the club house. He misses spending time with her and he feels bad for hurting Beezus’ feelings.

One day Henry gets locked in the clubhouse, most likely by Ramona, and Henry has to ask Ramona to go and get Beezus because Beezus is the only one around who can unlock the door to let Henry out. Beezus and Henry end up making up and Henry has a new place to hang out with his friends.

What I liked

The idea of a clubhouse is great. It’s a structure where you can play, not in the house, and be somewhat rough. I never had a clubhouse, although a few forts were made back in my day. Mainly out of small fallen dead trees. They weren’t anything fancy and they didn’t have roofs or really much of anything, but it was fun to make trails and forts and booby traps, yes, booby traps.

What I didn’t like

Henry rode in a bathtub, unsecured, on a rickety trailer, being towed behind a, on the road. This is not safe. Anything could have happened to him. He wasn’t even with his parents, he was with neighbors. You would expect a certain about of responsibility out of neighbors since they’re not your parents, but I guess back in the day everyone was all into everything. Whose kid is that? Who cares? Let’s endanger them!

I know times were different then, but this was really dangerous.


Don’t give neighborhood children rides in bathtubs on trailers being hauled by your car down the street. Don’t do it!

Weigh In

Be honest, would you have ridden in the bathtub?

Did you have a clubhouse growing up?


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