Cheri Ragland's Reviews > Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 06, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

A young teenage girl, Tish Bonner, wants nothing more than to just get school over with this year and move on to her Junior year. But, having an eight year old brother, Matt, a Zombie Queen mother, and an absent father, starts to impede on her everyday living. Her English teacher, Mrs. Dunphrey, has assigned each student a journal, four entries per week. The entries can be about anything and WILL NOT be read if it says: "Don't Read, Mrs. Dunphrey." Tish not wanting to waste time on the journal, decides to give it a try. Unfortunately, this journal becomes her only scapegoat and best friend. After her father arriving back, after a two year trip away, Tish is faced with many hardships with her family, school, and friends. Can she do this, will she ever be able to write "Do Read"? What will happen if she does?
This novel is geared towards eight years old and up. It has a realistic story of a lower class family, just making it from paycheck to paycheck. It illustrates the struggles that a child may face at home and the teacher never knowing anything is going on. It depicts a young girl who tries her best to be a great big sister, but ultimately facing herself and letting down her pride may be the only outlet the two children have. The novel also tells of a father who can get abusive and go on drinking binges, the book was written with real life feeling. The author puts you in the driver seat, scared of what may happen, what could happen, and asking what is going to happen next. In the end the decision she makes seems to be the best for everyone and any child could see how this would be the right way out of certain situations.
I would use this novel in class to talk about the realization that not everyone has or comes from a "Walton Family" home. Children need to understand that there are other circumstances for which children come to school and the children need to know what signs to look out for, if they think a friend is in trouble. The book emphasizes the fact that you should not be too proud to ask for help. Every child needs to know that it is okay to let your guard down to someone you trust and someone you believe will help and understand. Tish, also shows how difficult life can be on paper but also how relieving it can be to have that paper to write stuff on. Starting your students on journals at an early stage can help them understand how to keep organized thoughts, how to elaborate a sentence and form a paragraph it also allows them to get whatever they need to talk about off their chest without bias and judgement. I would highly recommend this easy read to anyone who likes a good book!

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.