Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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

Since both of my daughters had read this book and have been talking about it, I thought that I should read it as well. I'm glad I did!
This book was similiar to an epistolary novel wherein it was written through a series of journal entries. Right from the beginning, I thought this was clever and I loved the sense of character that felt from the journal writer, Tish Bonner. At first, Tish wonders about completing the assignment or whether she'll even care to at all. True to her character, first, she tests the teacher of whether her journal entry will really NOT be read if she simply writes Don't Read This at the top as instructed. Soon, as she starts writing and it seems that her entries are not being read she realizes how cathartic writing becomes to her.
This is where I really identified with Tish because I feel the same way about writing. I love how it can help me process a situation going on around me. I have found I don't even have to write down it exactly - just the feelings in the form of a poem helps me deal with it.
In this sense through writing Tish deals with her concerns which seem typically adolescent. As the journal continues, you gain a sense a what is really happening which is anything but typical. This is where it tore into my heartstrings. I worried for Tish. I wanted the outcome to be better for her. I gained an insight into my daughter's eyes and why this book meant so much to them. It hit me that it meant something to me as well. I was unexpectedly amazed by this because I am so much older now than a teen which took me back to those days while at the same time it didn't feel outdated at all. I could still relate. I wanted to understand even from the point of view that I see things now in my adulthood.
Questions kept popping in my mind during my reading experience which made it feel interactive too, i.e... How can we help those in need around us when they wouldn't want us to know? Can we ever really know what someone is really dealing with in their lives? What's hidden in their tough exterior? This book was perfectly short and the ending is not unrealistic either. Most of all, I will never forget Tish and her story will haunt me. I love it when a book can do this and it is one of the reasons why I read.

Young Adult Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 25, 2004)
My rating: 4 stars

Here's my daughter's take on the book: Nessa's Pen and Ink
If you can do me a favor and leave her a comment. She'll love it! They are posted by her even though it says my name. :)

Other noteworthy reviews too:

3 Evil Cousins

Social Voice

Welcome to those from Radiant Reviews! Thanks for reading today! Happy Thursday!


Chrissie said...

Another book that I've come across today that I haven't heard of. It sounds like a very interesting read and I will be adding it to my TBR list :)

Julie said...

Thanks, Chrissie. I'm glad you came by. I hope you like this book selection when you have a chance to read it. :)