Sunday, March 2, 2014

Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

Title: Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Number of Pages: 125
Date Read: 3/2/14
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Synopsis (Found on

Things are so bad, I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't do something... 
Everyone has to keep a journal in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class, but the teacher has promised she won't read any entry marked "Do not read this." It's the kind of assignment Tish Bonner, one of the girls with big hair who sit in the back row, usually wouldn't take very seriously. But right now, Tish desperately needs someone to talk to, even if it's only a notebook she doesn't dare let anyone read. 
As Tish's life spins out of control, the entries in her journal become more and more private...and dangerous. Is she risking everything that matters to her by putting the truth on paper? And is she risking more by keeping silent?

My Review:

This was a good short read. 

The story is about Tish, a 16 year old girl whose school assignment for the year is to write in her journal notebook. Her teacher, Mrs.Dunphrey, said that if her students wrote "Don't Read" on their entries, then she wouldn't read it. Of course Tish doesn't believe her teacher so she does a test to see if her teacher will keep her word. When Tish discovers that her teacher doesn't read any entry marked "Don't Read", she begins to write down her feelings and situation at home. She labels almost all her entries as "Don't Read" so she can write without fear of anyone reading her secrets. 

Tish is not an immediately likeable character. She makes fun of the assignment of writing in her journal and says some mean things about her teacher, mom, and brother. However after reading about her home life, you can see why Tish is hard. She doesn't trust adults and has a hard exterior. Her father left her mother, her mother is basically a waste of space and Tish has to work and take care of her brother (who is 8). Tish's mom is depressed and while she does neglect her kids, she does work and makes enough money to keep the family afloat. Tish also works part time at a fast food burger place so she can have her own money. Tish's father is abusive to her mother and her. 

When writing Tish write about things that are happening in the present and memories that she has of the past. In her memories, its clear that her home life and parents were never stable. In her present her abusive father comes back after being gone for 2 years and from there everything goes to hell. Tish doesn't think much of her mother~ she thinks she's a wimp~ and she hates her father. Tish cares for her brother but also loses patience with him sometimes. Then something happens that makes Tish's world collapse and she is at a loss of what to do. 

This book deals with some powerful issues some teens may face and this book could be a good read for them so that they can see that they are not alone and that it is ok to ask for help. I highly recommend it. 


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