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Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

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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, 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?

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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, 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?

30 review for Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Collazo

    I read this a VERY long time ago, but I changed the way I taught English because of this book. I taught seventh grade English, and every Friday, I gave my students SSW time (that's Silent Sustained WRITING). I wrote two writing prompts on the board that they could choose from, or they always had a choice to write on whatever topic they wanted. The goal was to keep pens moving and not worry about perfect grammar or spelling or sentence structure. Just WRITE. I also kept my own SSW notebook, and I I read this a VERY long time ago, but I changed the way I taught English because of this book. I taught seventh grade English, and every Friday, I gave my students SSW time (that's Silent Sustained WRITING). I wrote two writing prompts on the board that they could choose from, or they always had a choice to write on whatever topic they wanted. The goal was to keep pens moving and not worry about perfect grammar or spelling or sentence structure. Just WRITE. I also kept my own SSW notebook, and I wrote right along with my students. And when we shared what we wrote (always voluntarily), I sometimes shared my writing with them as well. Anyway, when I read this book, told my students about Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey, and how the girl in the book started out keeping her journals private from the teacher. She tested her teacher to see if she was really reading them without her permission. Then at the end, she wanted the teacher to read them. So I did the same in my class. I promised my students that if they wrote "Don't Read This" at the top of their journals, I would not read that selection. They could write this on every entry they wrote, and I honestly would not read any of it. Alternately, they could write "Please read this," and I would read it and respond to the writing, either in written comments or in-person or both. Anyway, I've been a school librarian for going-on 13 years now. As much as I love being in the library, I truly have missed our SSW time. I highly recommend teachers implement a regular SSW time for students. Mine loved it, and I bet some of them still have their old journals. I know I still have mine. :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Natalya picked Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey for her Banned Books Week read. (It is a small book so naturally I picked it up as well.) The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (abffe) hosts a page, “The Stories Behind Some Past Book Bans and Challenges,” upon which they share this about Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey: "The Galt Joint Union Elementary School board in California decided to ban this novel that explores the life of a troubled teen after a parent comp Natalya picked Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey for her Banned Books Week read. (It is a small book so naturally I picked it up as well.) The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (abffe) hosts a page, “The Stories Behind Some Past Book Bans and Challenges,” upon which they share this about Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey: "The Galt Joint Union Elementary School board in California decided to ban this novel that explores the life of a troubled teen after a parent complained of its risqué themes and language. It was removed from classrooms and can only be checked out of the library with parental permission." Risqué. adjective. slightly indecent or liable to shock, especially by being sexually suggestive. (Oxford English Dictionary) abffe provides this link to this kidSPEAK! article about the Galt ban. Much of the argument towards the banning of the novel is age-appropriateness : The Young Adult Novel was an assigned read in a 7th grade English class. ”Superintendent Jeffrey Jennings said he did not feel the book was appropriate for seventh-graders.”We should be able to have some discretion as to what our kids have to read,” he said.” *********************** The format of the novel is an exciting one. I rarely care for the diary trope but Haddix is brilliant; naturally she is a marvelous choice for the classroom where such varied forms of creative writing are shared. The appeal, besides it being a short (manageable) read? Was it all those headings that read “don’t read this,” that insists that you must? Or is it that Tish is quite compelling. The developing characters finding depth and breadth in the course of the novel via an Haddix/Tish’s strength of voice. The setting is created with a deft hand, the entries not hinting at the least contrivance. I think much of the success is that Haddix doesn’t have Tish replicating long conversations or improbable scenery or waxing poetic. Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey holds a focus without overdoing it and without oversimplifying. "November 18 "DON’T read this, Mrs. Dunphrey. "So you’d appreciate the chance to get to read one of my entries, Mrs. Dunphrey? Oh gerat, wonderful. I’m sure they’d make you very happy. Oh, isn’t this precious, you could say, how well Tish writes about her parents’ fights. “Tish,” you’d ask, “would you mind if The Lodestar reprinted that wonderful description of you and your brother cowering in his room while your father throws flowerpots at your mother? It’s so exquisitely done. [...] "Mrs. Dunphrey, I don’t really dislike you. I’ts just, your problem is that you’re too innocent. You’re even worse than Matt. You look out at us in the classroom and you think we’re all there ready and eager to learn about literature and grammar. I don’t know, maybe we would be, if we weren’t too busy thinking about our real lives. It’s not just me, either. I’m not the only one whose parents fight all the time. There are other kids who can’t think about Julius Caesar because they’re worrying about their parents being out of work. Or they’re afraid they’re pregnant. Or they’re on drugs." (45) I adore the fact that Margaret Peterson Haddix’s novel told in entries by a girl who doesn’t want them read by her teacher is a book people do not want their children to read. The entries are dangerous, increasingly so. At first Tish is embarrassed by her situation. She feels isolated, passed over. She’s driven to write about it. But continuing to share begins to involve greater risks if Mrs. Dunphrey were to dare read the journal entries. What happens to Tish Bonner and her younger brother is indecent; it should be shocking. But not in the sense we should look away. Rather, Tish’s story is one we should be staring at straight in the face. “Is she risking everything that matters to her by putting the truth on paper? And is she risking more by keeping silent?” What is at risk by keeping silent? A question a concerned 7th grade teacher (among others) is bound to ask. A question 7th graders (among others) should be thinking about. "January 27 "DON’T read this, Mrs. Dunphrey. "Yes, ma’am, I will try to begin writing so “wonderfully extensively” again. I’m so sorry I lost my journal-keeping commitment for a while there. I should have remembered that that was supposed to be the most important thing in my life. "Do you know how dumb this is? What good is this journal, anyway? It’s not like I’m ever going to be a writer or anything. And it’s not like anybody would ever care about my life, that they’d ever read this (or that I’d ever let anyone read this.) If any adult really cared about me, my life would be totally different, let me tell you. That’s why I’m trying so hard to make things better for Matt. Not that I’m doing too great a job at it. "But about school–it’s just silly, the stupid little assignments all you teachers make up. And then Mrs. Rachethead takes five points off anything if we forget to tear off the scraggly edges of our paper where ti comes out of wire notebooks. And Mr. Tremont won’t accept our homework unless we’ve got out name, the date, the class, and the page numbers, in that order, in the upper right-hand corner of every page. Do you all make up these rules just to amuse yourselves? Just to jerk our chains?" (67) Tish is in her Sophmore year of High School and it doesn’t look like she will make to the next grade. She admits she doesn’t care about excelling in her classes, she just needs her diploma. She already knows she doesn’t have the financial capabilities to go to college. She knows a lot. She knows what many kids her age know. She knows what feels real to her right now, and remembers quite clearly what the past felt like, too. Tish’s anger is apparent, but not all of it stems from ‘typical teen angst or attitude.’ And despite the questionable social circles, she is a good girl. And truly, not even her best friends come across as ‘no good’ as much as they seem confused, alone, and wanting of attention as well. She is not belligerent or anti-establishment without cause. There is a lot going on in her life, much of it outside her control–and it is hardly expressed in explicit terms, without explanation, or without consequence. An uncomfortable and unpopular (among some) part of the story where Tish is asked out by her boss, the assistant manager at Burger Boy. She refuses and he cuts her hours, which is corrected by the Manager, but the enmity remains. One of her best friends thought she should have just gone out with him at least once, for the sake of a good schedule. While Tish, at times, questions her refusal, or its potential harshness, the novel supports her decision. Indeed, Tish, though still flawed, comes across as the wiser of the females in the story. Another dilemma is the shoplifting. Her friend does it in, what Tish speculates, an attempt to get a parent’s attention. When Tish shoplifts, it is a desperate attempt at survival–and it still haunts. Corners are created and backed into, and Tish has choices; she also has strong emotions: Fear and Anger and Love being the most prevalent. She needs a guide, someone with a promising vision of her future, a sounding board, and this assigned journal. Another difficulty, besides the abusive father (not to downplay this) is the mother–and the other adults. Images of neglectful abusive parents, the perception that all other adults are naive, dumb, or unavailable is hard. The mother has issues that effect the children and she essentially abandons them in various and progressive forms until she is physically miles away. Tish is stronger and older and cares for her brother Matt as best she can, but she is alone and ultimately unprepared and without enough means. She doesn’t trust anyone, afraid of what she and her peers believe to be true about the Adult world and their systems; and, again, not without reason. The coping skills her late Granma (maternal grandmother) had to offer diminishes under the strain of circumstance and self-realization. What is vital to know is that Tish’s situation and perceptions do not remain as they have begun or worsened. Mrs. Dunphrey does prove her wrong. She does prove to be caring and trustworthy. The teacher shows embarrassment over the misconception of her and does come through. And there are more parental figures, not perfect either, but suddenly available and capable. The future all along had yet to be properly forecasted. It is a marvelous aspect that Haddix does not undermine the novel or her protagonist by redeeming any adult action; and that she can do it without perpetuating the idea that everyone in the world is cold and caught up in their own structures! Not all children are bad, even if they might physically appear so, nor are all grown-ups. Children are vulnerable, and they know it. But they are also powerful and they should know this too. And every child whether cute or barbed should have someone to love them, someone to trust. In Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey, it is abundantly clear that children need someone to acknowledge the harshness of their realities; namely, their teachers and schoolmates, the people with whom they spend the most time. Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey would tell children that there are teachers and administrators and peers who really do care. That they should dare those people to read their journals, to help them escape abusive situations, to advise them into making good choices. And what does the decision by the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District board tells their children in the banning of this book from the classroom? Those with lives involving “risqué themes and language” should continue writing “don’t you dare read this” on the heading of all their papers. The censors evidently do not believe 7th graders can experience even an inkling of Tish’s or Matt’s indecent or shocking lives; evidently the classroom (and questionably the library) is not a venue for discussion, education, or compassion. Margaret Peterson Haddix’s novel Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey is not perpetuating the belief that Schools and their Adults don’t care about them, those like the censors found in Galt, California are. How age-inappropriate is that?! ******************** Note: The use of the word risqué may have been melodramatic. The “especially by being sexually suggestive,” nuance to the definition is underwhelming in the circumstance. L @ omphaloskepsis http://contemplatrix.wordpress.com/20...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aiko M

    Don't you dare read this, mrs. Dunphrey by: Margaret Peterson Haddix is a breath-taking, secretive, young adult novel that has some mystery involved and is written in a journal format. It would fit by other books such as Please write in this book by: Mary Amato and We were liars by: E. Lockhart. Don't you dare read this, mrs. Dunphrey is about a teenager, Tish Bonner who's English class has to each write in a journal for their homework but has the exception of writing do not read above a sectio Don't you dare read this, mrs. Dunphrey by: Margaret Peterson Haddix is a breath-taking, secretive, young adult novel that has some mystery involved and is written in a journal format. It would fit by other books such as Please write in this book by: Mary Amato and We were liars by: E. Lockhart. Don't you dare read this, mrs. Dunphrey is about a teenager, Tish Bonner who's English class has to each write in a journal for their homework but has the exception of writing do not read above a section and the teacher simply will not read it. Tish starts to write in the journal more and more often as her personal life at home gets more and more scary, writing do not read above almost all her sections. This book only took me a couple days to read because it is short but also I HAD to find out what happened next. I simply couldn't stop. Tish would be at school and come home and all of a sudden her mother would be acting differently. I found a lot of character contradictions in this book from family members of Tish to even her friends. I really liked the way the author used her words to describe things in the book and made things sound so hard and also the journal format made Tish's thoughts sound real and scary. I would recommend this book to anyone who would want to read about someone who has to keep things to herself, they are so secret plus it is pretty short but still challenging enough.

  4. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    When Tish’s English teacher Mrs. Dunphrey tells students she won’t read their journals the sixteen-year-old begins opening up about home difficulties. As things at home escalate, Mrs. Dunphrey might be the only one who can help. From sexual harassment to domestic violence Tish is in way over her head, trying to protect her younger brother from life’s reality. She’s a sympathetic character who comes by her mistrust of adults through years of experience. DON’T YOU DARE READ THIS, MRS. DUNPHREY was m When Tish’s English teacher Mrs. Dunphrey tells students she won’t read their journals the sixteen-year-old begins opening up about home difficulties. As things at home escalate, Mrs. Dunphrey might be the only one who can help. From sexual harassment to domestic violence Tish is in way over her head, trying to protect her younger brother from life’s reality. She’s a sympathetic character who comes by her mistrust of adults through years of experience. DON’T YOU DARE READ THIS, MRS. DUNPHREY was my first Margaret Peterson Haddix book. At only 136 pages, it can easily be read in one sitting. Appropriate for tweens and teens the message of talking to adults when problems are too overwhelming or dangerous is an important one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Holy shit! I forgot about this! I read this in middle school? Thanks Goodreads Blog for this blast from the past!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Megan Pohl

    I started reading Dont you dear about 2 weeks ago. It was a diary of a young teenage girl in high school. Tish is her name and she had an english teacher who wanted the whole class to write in a journal a few times a week and she promised she wouldnt read the entries if the students didnt want her to. Unfortunatly i think that her teacher should have been read the entries. Tish's home life wasnt all peaches and cream, her dad was always in and out of there lives and her mom is basically a dead b I started reading Dont you dear about 2 weeks ago. It was a diary of a young teenage girl in high school. Tish is her name and she had an english teacher who wanted the whole class to write in a journal a few times a week and she promised she wouldnt read the entries if the students didnt want her to. Unfortunatly i think that her teacher should have been read the entries. Tish's home life wasnt all peaches and cream, her dad was always in and out of there lives and her mom is basically a dead beat. Tish is a sweet girl, she makes sure there is money coming into the house and food on the table everyday. I feel so bad for her because in high school you shouldnt be taking care of your 8 year old brother or sister because your mom cant get out of bed. I cant say i feel her pain because i have never beeing in that situation and i thank God that i havent. I have to finish the book because i need to see what is going to happen. I want to know if the dad is going to stay or if he will just skip town once again. I hope he just leaves, hes not a good part of there life thats for sure!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    I thought this book was really good. It was about a girl 16 year olds named Tish and her little brother Matt. They live with their mother that has come to be a little on the crazy side. Not in a good way. At school she has to write five entries in a journal for her teacher about her life. Tish decided to write about well; everything. She writes but doesn't want her teacher to read the entry. She also has a dad that left Tish her mom, and her little brother for two years. He came back and tried t I thought this book was really good. It was about a girl 16 year olds named Tish and her little brother Matt. They live with their mother that has come to be a little on the crazy side. Not in a good way. At school she has to write five entries in a journal for her teacher about her life. Tish decided to write about well; everything. She writes but doesn't want her teacher to read the entry. She also has a dad that left Tish her mom, and her little brother for two years. He came back and tried to be nice to the family by giving them money and presents. Tish thinks it's too good to be true but her mother wants them to be nice to him so he will stay. Even after he used to hit them and yell, and leave for days, and then show up again and hope everything was ok. One day Tish yells at her father enough to make him leave them and not to come back. So the next week Tish comes home from her job to find their mother left, leaving her and her brother alone. Will Tish and Matt survive by themselves or will they be split into foster homes?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    Lately, I have been into reading different books that I usually wouldn't pick up . I was in the local library, in the fiction section, and I came across this book. It was a lot smaller than most books I have read but I picked it because the whole idea of the book. Honestly, I thought it was so cool how the whole book is based on a journal of a girl, Tish, that she has to keep for her English class. It isn't your classic book and it was very interesting to me. Tish, a sophomore, is your not so Lately, I have been into reading different books that I usually wouldn't pick up . I was in the local library, in the fiction section, and I came across this book. It was a lot smaller than most books I have read but I picked it because the whole idea of the book. Honestly, I thought it was so cool how the whole book is based on a journal of a girl, Tish, that she has to keep for her English class. It isn't your classic book and it was very interesting to me. Tish, a sophomore, is your not so caring teen. She puts no effort in school and everyone just think she is not caring of anything. People assume things of her because of the way she portrays herself, but they don't know the real her. They don't know all that she has been through. When she was little, her dad left her and her brother and left them and their mom. Truthfully, Tish is not an open book and keeps all her secrets inside her. One day, Mrs. Dunphrey (her English teacher), assigns the class this project that they have to write in their journal almost everyday. At first, she thinks it is dumb and wants to take no part in it. Later on, she begins to rely on this journal to "talk" to with her problems, since she doesn't share them with anyone else. She doesn't let Mrs. Dunphrey read any of her entries because she is embarrassed of her past and what she has to deal with in life. Finally, something changes and Tish's life changes for the better. I enjoyed how the book was written as a journal. It gave a different feel to my reading and I enjoyed exploring new books. The character spoke in a tone that was extremely engaging and wanted me to continue reading. If I could change anything, I would have the book pick up more in the beginning. It started off slow, but the ending made up for it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I got the chance to read it. If you are looking for a different type of book to read, I strongly recommend this one!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jojobean

    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 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. This review is also posted on The Book Owl Extraordinaire

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This story is written in journal format. The premise of the book is that a 16 year old girl has an assignment for her English class to keep a journal. The teacher has given the class the option to write entries that she promises not to read if the students write "do not read" next to them. The girl, Trish, does this and the journal becomes a way for her to vent the thoughts, emotions and struggles she is going through at home. As she proceeds to write it turns out that she is mostly taking care This story is written in journal format. The premise of the book is that a 16 year old girl has an assignment for her English class to keep a journal. The teacher has given the class the option to write entries that she promises not to read if the students write "do not read" next to them. The girl, Trish, does this and the journal becomes a way for her to vent the thoughts, emotions and struggles she is going through at home. As she proceeds to write it turns out that she is mostly taking care of her little brother (and later entirely doing so) and that her father is abusive and her mother is neglectful. A series of events occur until Trish reaches the point where she must ask for help. This is a great book because is gives perspective to why some kids at school may act tough. It illustrates a struggle for survival that most teens take for granted but for some is a reality. It is very realistic in the use of the teen voice. Trish is sarcastic and tough, but she has a good heart and tries very hard to do what is right and take care of herself and her little brother. I really liked this book a lot. This book is an ALA quick pick, it might be a good choice for reluctant teen readers because it is very short but also quite engrossing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    In the journal she is keeping for English class, sixteen-year-old Tish chronicles the changes in her life when her abusive father abandons her and her brother, and her mother follows him. I love writing journal myself, and I don't want anybody to read it. But, this story makes me wonder, should we follow the rules of NOT reading other's journal? Especially when we know that someone is in trouble? Still wondering...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kari Eggerling

    Everyone has to keep a journal in Mrs. Dunphrey's English, but the teacher has promised she won't read any entry marked "Do not read this". Tish Bonner is not known for doing homework or trying hard in her classes. She tried hard on a test once which showed she was intelligent but it seemed to cause Tish more problems than it was worth. She reveals that her father left two years ago and her mother is not much of a mother. Her father comes back for a short period of time but leaves again, comes b Everyone has to keep a journal in Mrs. Dunphrey's English, but the teacher has promised she won't read any entry marked "Do not read this". Tish Bonner is not known for doing homework or trying hard in her classes. She tried hard on a test once which showed she was intelligent but it seemed to cause Tish more problems than it was worth. She reveals that her father left two years ago and her mother is not much of a mother. Her father comes back for a short period of time but leaves again, comes back but leaves after Tish yells at him. Her mother is worse than before and then finally leaves to find her father. Tish is left to care for herself and her little 9-year-old brother. she is left with only her part-time job for money to pay for food and the bills. After she is fired from her job (most likely because she wouldn't go on a date with her boss) isn't able to pay the bills or for food and the electricity is turned off she decides she needs help. she finally lets Mrs. Dunphrey read her journal and asks for help. Mrs. Dunphrey is very helpful. They move to Florida to live with her grandparents. Her mother also comes to live there. Tish writes Mrs. Dunphrey to say thank you everything she did for her and her brother. Made me cry at the end. 2017 Reading Challenge: #27 A Book with a title that's a character's name

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I think that this book was very good at discussing issues that can go along in young children's lives such as abuse, child neglect, and isolationism. It really showed me what can actually occur in young children's lives who are less fortunate and don't have supportive parents to be there for them. I got a first hand account of what many children have to go through when not being cared for and have to take the responsibility themselves. I didn't like how it was a diary and how she had constant jo I think that this book was very good at discussing issues that can go along in young children's lives such as abuse, child neglect, and isolationism. It really showed me what can actually occur in young children's lives who are less fortunate and don't have supportive parents to be there for them. I got a first hand account of what many children have to go through when not being cared for and have to take the responsibility themselves. I didn't like how it was a diary and how she had constant journal entries that always said don't read this Mrs. Dunphrey but I guess that is the title of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea D

    I enjoyed reading this book! This book is about a girl named Trish and she does what's right for her and her little brother. Her English teacher assigned her students to write a journal and promised that she wouldn't read the ones that has a marked "DO NOT READ THIS". Trish wrote a journal about her life. Her dad was abusive towards his children. And her mom does not care her children. The time came when Trish needed to talk to someone that can help her. This book will get interesting as you rea I enjoyed reading this book! This book is about a girl named Trish and she does what's right for her and her little brother. Her English teacher assigned her students to write a journal and promised that she wouldn't read the ones that has a marked "DO NOT READ THIS". Trish wrote a journal about her life. Her dad was abusive towards his children. And her mom does not care her children. The time came when Trish needed to talk to someone that can help her. This book will get interesting as you read more. I would recommend this book to middle schoolers because some middle schoolers could relate to this story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jodelyn

    I enjoyed reading this book. It's very secretive and as you read it, it gets more intense. This book is about a high school student named Tish Bonner. She is given the assignment to write in her journal throughout the school year by her language arts teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey. As Tish gets comfortable writing in her journal, she starts to write her personal problems about her little brother Matt, her mom, and her dad who is abusive and marks it "Do NOT read, Mrs Dunphrey". I thought this was a real I enjoyed reading this book. It's very secretive and as you read it, it gets more intense. This book is about a high school student named Tish Bonner. She is given the assignment to write in her journal throughout the school year by her language arts teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey. As Tish gets comfortable writing in her journal, she starts to write her personal problems about her little brother Matt, her mom, and her dad who is abusive and marks it "Do NOT read, Mrs Dunphrey". I thought this was a really good book because it got my attention as I was reading. I would want to recommend this book to my friends.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy Vitt

    I read a couple of Haddix’s books in middle school and thoroughly enjoyed them. But I have to say, this is the type of YA book that may be more powerful to read as an adult. The way the book was framed, I couldn’t help picturing myself in Mrs. Dunphrey's shoes, receiving Tish’s journal and feeling torn between respecting her privacy and trying to help in some way. Just knowing that my teacher friends have students coming to school with these kinds of burdens… Anyway, there aren’t a lot of surpri I read a couple of Haddix’s books in middle school and thoroughly enjoyed them. But I have to say, this is the type of YA book that may be more powerful to read as an adult. The way the book was framed, I couldn’t help picturing myself in Mrs. Dunphrey's shoes, receiving Tish’s journal and feeling torn between respecting her privacy and trying to help in some way. Just knowing that my teacher friends have students coming to school with these kinds of burdens… Anyway, there aren’t a lot of surprises in this story, but I enjoyed the narrative framework, and Tish’s relationship with her brother is precious. I just wanted to protect them both.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne Organa

    Another compelling Haddix book, but unique in it's format and voice. I really enjoyed this one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I was sitting around tonight, putting off doing anything productive, when I picked up this book up off my shelf and started reading bits of it. I first read it in seventh grade, and I really enjoyed it at the time. Haddix deals with difficult subject matter in this book, more explicitly a girl abusive and neglectful parents struggling to keep her and her brother afloat. The subject matter isn't something which I can relate to, but it does make me feel very fortunate. It's definitely thought-provo I was sitting around tonight, putting off doing anything productive, when I picked up this book up off my shelf and started reading bits of it. I first read it in seventh grade, and I really enjoyed it at the time. Haddix deals with difficult subject matter in this book, more explicitly a girl abusive and neglectful parents struggling to keep her and her brother afloat. The subject matter isn't something which I can relate to, but it does make me feel very fortunate. It's definitely thought-provoking, however, because even though I've grown up in white-upper-middle-class areas, I realize that there are adults and children who struggle with money more than I do. Also, the ending and what Tish's family goes through makes me think of how I would deal with that situation. I think Haddix is not only trying to write a realistic character here, but also to shed light on what it's like to be in Tish's situation. This book is short and very readable. Since it's written as the diary of a 15-year-old girl, the writing isn't amazing, but it's not really meant to be. I think I found Tish's voice a little bit more relatable when I was a younger reader. However, I could still relate to her struggles with friends and boys and whatnot, since I definitely went through that at her age. The passages where Haddix dealt with Tish's relationship with her brother were also quite good. I don't have a younger brother, but the emotions felt real to me. Also, I don't know if this is because of the time when it was written, but I'm not sure of how many of Haddix's readers can relate to the idea of seeing girls make their hair really poofy (at one point Haddix mentions their stereotyped as sluts, and every school has a girl who gets called that name). It seems to me like an eighties thing, but maybe it's a geographical thing. I don't really know, it's honestly a small and minor complaint, I guess when I was in high school there were other stereotypes associated with the world slut. Overall, I think this is an enjoyable read for young adults. It is a bit short and I do think some aspects of Haddix's story may not perfectly mesh with today's readers. However, I think Haddix writes about a tough subject but still creates a character which her readers can relate to, and I'd say that's a pretty big accomplishment and makes for an enjoyable read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is about a teen girl, Tish Bonner, who is entitled to keep a journal and to write in it every week as an English assignment for Mrs. Dunphrey.Tish begins the journal entries in vague, typical slacker entries. Tish lives with her younger brother, Matt, and her depressed and distant mother. Her father abandoned the family a while back and comes into the picture a few times to show what a great guy he is but all he really does is tear the family apart more.She figures out that by writing This book is about a teen girl, Tish Bonner, who is entitled to keep a journal and to write in it every week as an English assignment for Mrs. Dunphrey.Tish begins the journal entries in vague, typical slacker entries. Tish lives with her younger brother, Matt, and her depressed and distant mother. Her father abandoned the family a while back and comes into the picture a few times to show what a great guy he is but all he really does is tear the family apart more.She figures out that by writing about what is going on in her life helps her process through the emotions of the tough home life she really goes through. On each journal entry Tish's class was allowed to write 'don't read' or 'do read' at the top, giving permission for Mrs. Dunphrey to read the thoughts or just look to be sure the students wrote. Throughout the book you can see Tish Bonner changing her perspective on her home life situation through these journal entries but she decides to write 'don't read' at the top of every journal, unless she forgot to write it at the top. Things got so bad for Tish with taking care of Matt by herself, she even resulted to shop lifting food and only paying half of bills. In the end, on the last entry, Tish writes 'do read this Mrs. Dunphrey' and asks her to read the entire journal from the year because she doesn't know what else to do and how to explain it to anyone. I gave this book 4 stars because I enjoyed the story line of the book. I feel like it needed a little bit more to it, maybe make it longer and more in depth. “But I keep waking up every morning to the same old life. Bummer” (72) I chose this quote because it shows that Tish really was hurting throughout the story. She stood tall and acted as if nothing was wrong and she felt like she had to be a strong role model for Matt the entire time. This book relates to class because our personal statements were really supposed to pick an event in our life and focus in on that. Tish's journal entries would be a perfect way to pick out events that she felt strongly about and wrote a lot about in her journals to help her write her own personal statement. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels lost in their home life and feels like it is spinning out of control. Or to anyone who knows someone that is bottling these emotions up so they can understand what the friend is going through.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maranda @ Melange of Reviews

    3.5/5 stars You can find all my reviews here I read this book when I was in Junior High, it was one of those stories that I remembered vaguely but I knew I had liked at the time. It’s very short and in the format of journals assigned by Tish’s English teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey. Tish has been forced to grow up much faster than the normal fifteen year old. Some might say she’s even more grown up than her mother who forgets she has children and only pines for the love of her life. The love of her life is 3.5/5 stars You can find all my reviews here I read this book when I was in Junior High, it was one of those stories that I remembered vaguely but I knew I had liked at the time. It’s very short and in the format of journals assigned by Tish’s English teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey. Tish has been forced to grow up much faster than the normal fifteen year old. Some might say she’s even more grown up than her mother who forgets she has children and only pines for the love of her life. The love of her life is less than perfect, in fact, he’s a terrible man who beat his family and then left them for two years. Tish takes care of her younger brother Matt, feeding and clothing both of them with the little money she makes at her part-time, minimum wage job. This story is sad, a brief look at a broken home. One that I was happy I decided to reread in the end. If nothing else, it made me thankful that my parents were always there for me growing up, even if we didn’t always see eye to eye. If you have people who love and care for you cherish it because not everybody is so lucky.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    My daughter and I have a deal. She'll read a book I recommend if I'll read a book she recommends. This is how I get her to expand her reading interests and she likes telling me what to do. :) This was a book she read snippets of in English class and liked so much, she checked a copy out at the library so she could read the rest. Tish Bonner has to keep a journal for an assignment in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class. The teacher promises she won't read any entries marked DO NOT READ, but as Tish's h My daughter and I have a deal. She'll read a book I recommend if I'll read a book she recommends. This is how I get her to expand her reading interests and she likes telling me what to do. :) This was a book she read snippets of in English class and liked so much, she checked a copy out at the library so she could read the rest. Tish Bonner has to keep a journal for an assignment in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class. The teacher promises she won't read any entries marked DO NOT READ, but as Tish's home life starts spiraling out of control, she turns to her journal for help. Maybe it's time she turn to an adult, too. Margaret Peterson Haddix is a great writer. This wasn't as good as her Shadow Children series, but it was still entertaining. 3.5 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Hart

    I would recommend this book to any teenager who wants a good book to read. Everyone has to keep a journal in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class, but the teacher has promised she would not read any entry marked "Do not read this." It is the kind of assignment Tish Bonner usually would not take very seriously. Right now Tish desperately needs someone to talk to, even if it is only a notebook. As Tish's life spins out of control, the entries in her journal become a lot more private. Is she risking every I would recommend this book to any teenager who wants a good book to read. Everyone has to keep a journal in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class, but the teacher has promised she would not read any entry marked "Do not read this." It is the kind of assignment Tish Bonner usually would not take very seriously. Right now Tish desperately needs someone to talk to, even if it is only a notebook. As Tish's life spins out of control, the entries in her journal become a lot more private. Is she risking everything that matters to her by putting the truth on paper and keeping silent? Read the book to find out what happens.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I teach high school resource reading and english and I have very reluctant, not yet readers. However, my students devoured this book. They constantly wanted more. It is told by a 16 year old girl, Tish, who is basically abandoned by her parents to take care of her younger brother. She tells no one, but has been journaling but not letting her teachers read the entries. She lives in constant fear of being discovered and trying to pay for things with only a part time job. A great read that I will in I teach high school resource reading and english and I have very reluctant, not yet readers. However, my students devoured this book. They constantly wanted more. It is told by a 16 year old girl, Tish, who is basically abandoned by her parents to take care of her younger brother. She tells no one, but has been journaling but not letting her teachers read the entries. She lives in constant fear of being discovered and trying to pay for things with only a part time job. A great read that I will incorporate into my curriculum for next year.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mahlak

    Tish Bonner's life just isn't going so well. Her mom and dad left her and her little brother Matt to take care of themselves. Frustration, responsibility, and tension just builds up inside of her. I gave this book five stars because I read only a couple of her journal entries and her life is is just so shady and it just makes me want to know more about it and how she's dealing with such a tough situation. I highly reccomend you to read this because it's a short and facsinating(but dark) book to Tish Bonner's life just isn't going so well. Her mom and dad left her and her little brother Matt to take care of themselves. Frustration, responsibility, and tension just builds up inside of her. I gave this book five stars because I read only a couple of her journal entries and her life is is just so shady and it just makes me want to know more about it and how she's dealing with such a tough situation. I highly reccomend you to read this because it's a short and facsinating(but dark) book to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vic Cochran Sol

    zI really liked this. It was interesting hearing the stuff about the hair in this since it is very outdated now. I liked the main character; she wasn't overly angsty, but she was clearly affected by everything that happened.I think that she did very well overall. I liked that you got to hear what the teacher thought about Tish. The ending made me happy. It actually ended differently than I expected it too, but that is a good thing. Overall, this is really great.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emily.rebman

    I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I can sort of relate to the main character. I may not be in her position, but I deal with anxiety. The main character is Tish. She is anxiety-filled, but doesn't show it. That’s how I am most of the time, too. I would never recommend this book to anyone under 9th grade. They wouldn't understand any of the meaning. I would recommend this book to anyone above the 9th grade. It really makes a person think.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Diana Gioia

    Definitely an interesting read, not one I would normally go for. But I have read the author before and loved her work. Glad I decided to give this book a try. Good read if your feeling down about your situation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alissa M

    I think that this book was a good book, but I'm not really into short books. I feel like all short books are over too quick and there aren't enough details. Even though Tish's life is interesting, it was just like any other short book: over too fast.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelli

    Emotionally hard read about a sixteen year old girl who is forced to grow up way to quickly and care for her young brother while her parents self distruct. Entire book is written in a journal format to her teacher with 99% of the entries marked "Do Not Read."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nojood Alsudairi

    The main character is a child who does not trust any one. Her teacher pushes her into writing in a diary with the promise of not to read any page unless she is asked to. An interesting story.

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