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

Review by: Kelsei S.
North Carolina, Grade 7

Write! Write! Write! Tish has to write in a journal everyday about something that happens in her life. She can put, read this Mrs.Dunphrey or don’t read this Mrs.Dunphrey
Margaret Peterson Haddix, Don’t You Dare Read this, Mrs.Dunphrey
Tish is a girl who has to write in a journal about anything she wants and she can
let her teacher; Mrs.Dunphrey read it or not read it. The reason she has to write in it everyday is for her language arts class. In her journal, Tish is writing about the things that are very private and happen to her and her family that she really doesn’t want people to know about.
Tish is the main character in this book. She is a caring person shown by taking care of her younger brother after a divorce. She is also saddened by the fact that her grandmother moved away who was very important to her and someone she could talk to, “that was a time kind of like now, when Mom and Dad were fighting about everything. It didn’t seem so bad then, because Grandma was always there, telling Matt and me stories and singing songs to so we didn’t hear the fighting.” At the beginning of the book, she seems to be a very private person. Tish likes to hang out with her friends when she can. Mrs.Dunphrey, the other important character in the book is also a very caring person. After reading some of the entries in Tish’s journal, she talked to her about what she could do to help her. The characters in this book added to the realistic world that we all live in. I enjoyed reading about Tish’s life through reading her diary.
Margaret Haddix makes her book a more personal style of writing. The main character writes about her personal life in a journal for only the teacher to see. It is written in first person, “I scare myself. I think if I had a gun, I really might use it”. Both characters discuss the main character’s personal views, which add to the author’s style of writing: “Or wait, maybe if you read my journal, you’d understand why I’m not exactly keeping up with…” I like the author’s writing style because it makes it easier to relate to.
Don’t you Dare Read this, Mrs. Dunphrey, is a fictional story, but could really take place in the life of someone. A lot of people keep journals of their thoughts, especially during times of family problems or divorce. This gives them a way to get out their anger, frustrations, or emotions. The book is realistic in its story, but uses fictional characters and places.

I liked this book because I became involved in Tish’s life and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next. This would be a good book for students who are in middle school. Her books never won any awards, but her books are written for children, teens, and young adults. Some of her books include: The Hidden, Imposters, and Claim to Fame. I have read several of her books and really enjoyed them. I think you would too.f

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