Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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****Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Reviewed December 15, 2001.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2001
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.  1996.  108 pages.

When I was a teen, my favorite books were those that moved me enough to make me cry.  This book would qualify.

Tish Bonner thinks that Mrs. Dunphrey, the new high school English teacher, is stupid to tell the students that they can mark their journal entries, “Do not read.”  After testing the teacher with some personal information, Tish begins to find comfort in telling her journal what she’s going through.  Her mother is still mourning her father’s leaving them, and Tish must take on more and more responsibility caring for her little brother.  Her friends don’t understand the scope of her problems, and the journal is the only place where she tells the truth.

This book is convincing and very moving.  I should warn you that you should read it when you are emotionally strong.  I made the mistake of reading it when my husband had been out of town for a week and I hadn’t been able to reach him by phone.  This sad story did not help my mood!  However, despite the serious situation, this book is well worth reading.  I would have said in high school that it gave me a “good cry.”  Maybe it’s therapeutic to care about someone else’s problems.  At any rate, I highly recommend it.

Reviews of other books by Margaret Peterson Haddix:
Among the Hidden
Among the Impostors

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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