Daphne's Book

Daphne's Book

by Mary Downing Hahn


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Daphne is the last person Jessica wants to work with on the Write-a-Book project, but her feelings change when she gets to know Daphne and stumbles on her terrible secret.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547016412
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/18/2008
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 570,757
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Mary Downing Hahn , a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories. Her work has won more than fifty child-voted state awards.  An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland. Visit her online at www.marydowninghahnbooks.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was one of those dreary January days when nothing goes right. First of all, I overslept. Then I discovered that my brother Josh had used up all the hot water taking his shower. And then, as a final blow, I saw Josh grab the last doughnut as he ran out the door.

By the time I was ready to leave for school, it was pouring rain. Anywhere else it would have been snow, but not here in Maryland. No, a blizzard was raging across New England, and I was sure that all the schools there were closed, but here I was, slogging down the footpath, my shoes soaked, my hair plastered to my forehead in wet strips. By the time I got to Oakcrest Middle School, I looked as if someone had dumped a bucket of water on me.

While I was trying to force my frozen fingers to open the lock on my locker, I dropped my lunch bag, and everything in it fell to the floor. Somebody stepped on my sandwich, and I never found my apple. I think Curtis Folwell probably ate it.

But all of these things were nothing compared to what happened in English. Mr. O'Brien, who used to be my favorite teacher, decided to ruin not only what was left of my day but my life as well. Not that I realized what he was up to at first. Oh no, I just sat there smiling innocently while he announced a new project for us.

"We have been invited to enter the seventh-grade Write-a-Book contest." Mr. O'Brien stroked his beard and smiled, inviting us to share his enthusiasm.

"We have to write a book?" Tony Cisco stared at Mr. O'Brien as if he had just announced that our class had been chosen togo on a forty-mile hike at the North Pole.

A picture book, to be exact," Mr. O'Brien said.

As kids all over the room began protesting that they Couldn't draw, hated drawing, didn't know how to write, etc., etc., etc., Mr. O'Brien somehow managed to regain control of the situation. "This is the way it works," he said. "You form teams. One writes the story, and the other illustrates it. Then you bind it like a real book. There's so much talent in this room that I know we can produce a winner."

"That's all there is to it?" Tony looked at Mr. O'Brien suspiciously.

"Well, it has to be between ten and twenty pages long, it has to be original, and spelling, punctuation, and neatness count." Mr. O'Brien smiled and shrugged. "It's going to be a great experience."

"Oh, man." Tony slumped in his seat, obviously depressed at the thought of punctuation and spelling. "Can't it just be pictures? No words, no sentences, no commas and periods and all that stuff?"

A little laugh rippled around the room, proving, as usual, that the dumber you act, the funnier people think you are. But not people like Mr. O'Brien. He shook his head and frowned at Tony.

Gesturing for us to be quiet, Mr. O'Brien went on. "Since the books are team efforts, I've gone ahead and picked partners." As the class began to ripple again, Mr. O'Brien shushed us a little more forcefully. "One thing I want to make clear before I read the names...He paused dramatically and looked at us.

"There will be no changes. The partner I assign you is the partner you will keep. I've given the teams a lot of thought, and I will not make any changes. So don't come running up to me after class begging me to let you be someone else's partner. No matter what your reason is, I will not change my mind."

Everybody shifted around and murmured, but we got quiet as he started to read the list. I looked at Tracy Atkins and crossed my fingers, hoping he'd let us work together. We've been friends since kindergarten, but lately she'd been spending more and more time with Michelle Swanson and Sherry Hartman. I was sure that if we worked on a book together, we'd soon be as close as we used to be.

I should have known that the Write-a-Book contest wasn't going to turn out any better than the rest of the day. First of all, Mr. O'Brien assigned Tracy and Michelle to work together. They both gave a little squeal and grinned at each other, as if they could hardly wait to start planning their book. Feeling very disappointed, I slid down in my seat and glared at Mr. O'Brien's feet, barely listening until I heard my name paired with Daphne Woodleigh. I sat up then and stared at him in disbelief. He couldn't have put Daphne and me together! Tracy shot me a look of sympathy, but Michelle rolled her eyes and giggled.

While Mr. O'Brien continued to describe the contest, I stared at my desk, trying not to cry. How could Mr. O'Brien have done such a horrible thing to me? He mustknow how much everybody hated Daphne, he must have noticed how strange she was. Cautiously I looked across the the room at her.

There she sat, her long black hair falling down her back, hiding her face like a dark curtain. As usual, she was wearing one of her bizarre outfits. Two or three layers of baggy sweaters and blouses, a calf-length tiered skirt, dark tights, thick leg warmers, and ballerina slippers. It was the sort of outfit a fashion model might wear, but in a roomful of girls wearing Shetland sweaters and blue jeans, Daphne's clothes looked terribly out of place.

Daphne's Book. Copyright © by Mary Hahn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Readers can hardly help rooting for the two girls and hoping that these two appealing characters do remain best friends for a long time." School Library Journal, Starred

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Daphne's Book 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
Lisa Steinbauer More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for anyone looking for a humor,suspense,and happy book all in one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Daphne's Book is an amazing story about friendship, and the way that true friendship should sustain you. This book makes you realize what the real world can be like: both embracing, and cruel. Daphne's Book is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am now thirty and read this book when I was in the fifth grade. This book left an impression on me. I remember the hardcover and have thought about it for years. The descriptions in this book made life between the pages real. What stood out in my mind was the charcter of the mother. This was the first time I realized that my mother was a person with a life beyonfd caring for her child. She had feelings that went beyond my day at school and what was for dinner. I love this story and cannot wait to read it again.
Laine Burleigh More than 1 year ago
A very interesting story about friendship,being strong,being brave,and seeing the inside of a person instead of the outside.I would soooooo recommend it.Great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awsome! A sweet touching story that I would recomend to pretty much everybody.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Daphne's book is a very mind taking book, but as the two main characters in this book struggle though some events about school and friends, they turn out to have an awsome friendship.I would deffintily reccomend this book to anyone who wants to sit down and read a great book on a rainy day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so awesome. Mary downing hahn rox! She is really good at giving u a chill down ur back.( not in this book it wasnt a ghost story but in the others.) She is good at discriptions... example: As i walked through the snowy field, my boots crunched down on the icy-snow as if a giant were walking on crackers. Awesome right?? Shes also good at making u suspensful and on ur edge. Its a page turner. She also makes the characters be realistic and interesting. Its hard to describe, but its excellent. I luv her and she should make more books!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i actually had to stop and dry my eyes. im 15 years old, i read this book when i was 10 and it is still my all time favorite. there are no words to describe the emotions that ran through me when i finished this story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to do a report on this book for class, but i thought this book would be terrible because mt teacher always gives us bad books. This one was the best!!! I luv it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i liked this book from the first page. It was a very emotional book. The way it ended was sad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I had my doubts about this book at first, but after the first chapter I was completely hooked. This is a great book. Prepare to get no sleep, this book is impossible to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book while I was in the 4th grade. I'm now 24 years-old and Daphne's Book is still one of my favorite books. I cried and laughed the first time I read it. To move me so, at such a young age says alot for this book.I recommemd it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a spectacular book. I read it in one night. I couldn't put it down. This book may make others aware of poverty and help them reach out to an oddball.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really want to know her secret!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is awesome book you should read it. By:Emma
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was so sad, my class did a report on it. Our teacher usually picks bad books and we have to relte it to change but this book was soooooooo good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is truly amazing. It makes me think twice before complaning there is no food in the fridge. this book changed what i think of myself and others. well done Mary!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really awesome!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really touching and really great. My grandmother bought it for me and I thought oh great another boring book. But I read it anyway and I'm glad I did, it is by far one of the greatest books of all time. The only thing I didn't enjoy was how bad everyone picked on Daphne. I was in 7th grade last year and that really is how they treat people who aren't exactly the same as them or as cool as them or if they didn't wear Abercrombie and Fitch or Aeropostale. But I think this book also teaches a great lesson that you should really get to know someone before you judge them and I was very happy that Jessica and Daphne became friends because Daphne really needed one. This is a very touching book that I encourage all 7th grade girls to read because it really makes you stop and wonder, Do I act like that? You will also see how your behavior affects the person that you are making fun of, it really can hurt someone so if you read this book I hope you think twice before teasing someone about the way they look or act because they might not look hurt on the outside but they are hurt on the inside and I have learned that now. So please read this book because you won't regret that you did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really good! It makes you think twice about making fun of a lonely outcast. Lots of authors have tried to describe this, but not many suceed. But, this book is the perfect example!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the greatest books I have ever read. I would recommend it for everyone. It is funny and sad at the same time. So if your looking for a book please get this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books i've ever read.I think all the kids in 5th-7th grade should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good read now!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good story on some of the freinds you have are not alwas going to be nice to you and the shy people are sometimes the nicest once you get to know them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was very good, however at times it was sad and slow.