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  Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Review by: Rachel P.
Connecticut, Grade 7

One interesting thing about this book is that it is all written in the form of a journal.

Today, many people seem to picture the people in the world around them living ďThe American DreamĒ, and many people are. But thatís not the case for fifteen-year-old Tish Bonner, the main character of Donít You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Her necessary long hours of work take her away from whatís more important. First, Tish has to take care of her younger brother. Without any help from her abusive, absent father, or her irresponsible mother, it is up to Tish to do everything. And of course she has school. When her English teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey, requires her class to write in their own journals she promises not to read any that are marked ďDo not read thisĒ. At first, Tish is less than thrilled about the assignment. But, with all her problems building up inside her, she needed someone or something to confide in and she finds help in this journal.
Margaret Peterson Haddix is brutally honest and straight forward about all the problems the main character is facing. Because of the life this girl is living, itís a serious book. But, I think that Donít You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey shows just how out of hand things can get if you donít speak up. If you are the kind of reader that is into the, ďAnd they lived happily ever afterĒ books, then this is not the book for you. Even though the ending isnít happily ever after, it is satisfying, so I donít mind that itís not part of a series. I love this book and I do highly recommend it.

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