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Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey

4.3 124
by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Joanne Pendola (Illustrator)

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Tish's journal is private and personal--and you won't be able to put it down. Tish writes candidly, and privately, about taking care of her brother, living on-and-off with her violent father, and coping with her irresponsible mother--until finally, she realizes that Mrs. Dunphrey, her new English teacher, might just be her only hope. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.


Tish's journal is private and personal--and you won't be able to put it down. Tish writes candidly, and privately, about taking care of her brother, living on-and-off with her violent father, and coping with her irresponsible mother--until finally, she realizes that Mrs. Dunphrey, her new English teacher, might just be her only hope. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An abused and neglected teenager pours her heart into a journal for English class. PW found it "tough-edged... Mrs. Dunphrey comes through in the best sensitive-English-teacher tradition." Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Haddix tells a story that immediately captures the reader's interest. Many of Tish's concerns are "typically" adolescent-school, job, sexual harassment-as well as one that is not at all typical. Tish's mother has abandoned her and her younger brother Matt. Tish is trying desperately to do the child rearing that her mother should be doing. When her English teacher assigns a journal, Tish is sure she won't write at all, but once she starts, she finds writing cathartic, especially since Mrs. Dunphrey keeps her word and doesn't actually read anything that the girl tells her not to read. A totally happy ending would be unrealistic, but there is hope that Tish and Matt will have a better life.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpSixteen-year-old Tish Bonner is a nonachieving, back-row student in Mrs. Dunphrey's English class as well as in all of her other classes. Her personal life reveals the same bleakness. Her parents' relationship is combative and unstable. Her father splits every time things get difficult. Her mother can't get her act together and takes off to look for her husband, leaving her two children alone with no money. Tish describes her plight in a journal that Mrs. Dunphrey has all of the class do as a writing assignment, with the promise that she will not read the entries if the students ask her not to. Most of what Tish writes is off-limits to her teacher until her situation becomes so desperate that her journal entries become a cry for help. This contemporary story realistically depicts the sad home life of a dysfunctional family and the burden put on young people to cope with adult problems. Tish's journal entries have an authentic ring in phrasing and tone and will keep readers involved. Although the teacher's solution of having Tish and her younger brother to stay with her temporarily may be a stretch, the resolution provides this teen with a well-deserved break since she has struggled so hard to help herself and her brother. A brief, serious look at a young person who is isolated and faced with some seemingly overwhelming problems.Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
From the Publisher
"The peeking-into-a-life appeal of the journal format combined with the realism of Tish's plight will satisfy readers looking for high drama with a gritty edge."—BCCB

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.57(d)
980L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

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Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey, and first assumed the worst: Haddix would try too hard to appeal to young, naive audiences, and in turn compromise showing the bitter sweetness of teen life, sugar-coating the most important part to a realistic fiction novel-- the feeling of real. I, along with those who suspected the same, were instead in for a pleasant surprise. Not only is this medley of entries composed by high-schooler Tish a quick read by means of Haddix's sway and style, but the book's premise and formatting isn't too easy for bookaholics or too difficult for non-regular readers. Tish morphs into something of a heroine in her own gloomy and pessimistic way, simply because she writes shamelessly through the scarred eyes shared by many teens today. Haddix's writing is in top form, winning hearts and captivating the empathy of any reader who endures family troubles or feels as though personal issues can be nothing more than secrets. Audiences will laugh and cry until the final word is read. One of Margaret Peterson Haddix's finest is one click of a button away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was very realistic and a quick read. I was really worried about what would happen to the girl and her brother, and I couldn't put it down until I found out.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Journal writing--what a waste! Tish is one of the girls who likes to site in the back row and not put alot into her schoolwork but it seems that Mrs. Dunphrey wants her to put thoughts on paper. The only good thing about the assignment is that the teacher says it's ok to write "Don't read this" at the beginning of each entry that is private. Tish initially writes about unimportant things but gradually pours out the secrets of her home life, including her parents' yo-yo relationship and the subsequent abandonment of Tish and her younger brother, Matt. As Tish tries to attend school, care for Matt, and keep a job to have money for food, she realizes that opening her journal to Mrs. Dunphrey might be the only way to survive. An excellent glimpse into the life of a teen struggling to overcome huge obstacles. As an educator, I have seen the cathartic effects that journalling can have for students. This story has been a winner since publication in 1996 and the updated cover photograph will continue to pull in readers. Thanks to Puget Sound Council for the review copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most authors write in paragraphs, but this was told through letters and it was somethoing different. I really injoyed it.
RaWr15 More than 1 year ago
Tish Bonner in Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs.Dunphrey is just a quiet girl with big hair in the back of the classroom, but not for long because when she receives a journal from Mrs. Dunphrey, her life will be devoted to that journal. Every entry is titled "Do Not Read" so Mrs.Dunphrey doesn't know what's really going on in her life. This realistic fiction book can relate to many kids and teens because what Tish goes through in the book, happens in real life. I would recommend this book for anyone over 11 years old. I liked the book because I could relate to it a little, but others would probably relate to it a lot. I'd give this book a ¾ stars because other readers will enjoy this book because of its humor and realistic suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey the main character, Tish, writes in a journal for a class assignment. At the beginning she doesn't like to write in it, but so she realizes it expresses her and it feels good to tell someone whats happening in her life. Tish has a pretty rough life. For starters, shes practically raising her brother. Her mom is still obsessed with her dad who has been gone for two years, and barley pays attention to her kids. But when Tish's dad is finally in town again, her mom does whatever it takes for him to stay. I would recommend this book if you like short and easy books. It pulls you in from the very start and you won't be able to put it down. I'd also recommend this to teenagers who think their life is the worst, because after they read this they might change the way they look at things. Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey is a book everyone should read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So sad but something like that happened to me! But who cares! The book was awsome. And it keeps u hooked on untill u reach the end of the book. I think it deserves a 5 star!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I love Margret Peterson Haddix! All of her books are so unique and gripping. " Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey" is a journal of a high school girl who's father is rough. Her mom is financially unstable and she feels the need to make sure her little brothers does well, and is cared for properly. In this book she shares her journey from start to finally deciding to break away and do what is best for her and her brother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was amazing. Mainly because it told the truth about the lives of young teenagers in these situations, especially with inner city kids. It was such a breath of fresh air not to have the author sugarcoat anything. Some people were upset at how much the book revealed about schools, homes, and the system. But honestly, the story needed to be told. I would recommend the book to anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time!!! Its different because its written like a journal but its not all girly. its interesting and it opens your eyes to things that could be happening around you and you may nit know. Best book ever everybody should read it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book im reading it at school and i am totally hooked
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It's no action packed romance novel like the hunger games, but it's a suspencful story that gets you rooting for the unlikely heroine, tish bonner, 'one of the girls with big hair who sits in the back row' as she describes herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. I love it. Margaret Peterson Haddix is amazing. I dont know how she does it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I have read it so many times over and over again. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So i read this awhile back. My teacher had given me the book. I had read it and loved then totally forgot about it. Found it teo years later at my school libary. Read it again amd again loved it. This book is a must read and i had to mae all my friemds read it amd they two loved it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im speechless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book,but so sad i luvvvvv the plot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so amazing. It really feels like you are in the book! Great read! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this book it is amazing before i got my nook i rarley read but it took me like three hours to read this and i was awesome yaaaaaaaaaaasaaaaa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was very relevant and it does show how us teens feel. It wasnt something that everyone of us goes through, but we all have things that we feel ashamed and untrusting of others about. I recomend this book(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book from the library, because i had nothing else to read! To be honest it was a giod book but the language that Haddix was trying to get at like a ghetto teen, was a little over bearing because im not really used to that way of speaking. But, that was really the only problem. Good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im ten and when i read this book i cryed, i felt the way she felt and couldnt belive what i was reading. This girl was stoung you should serisoly read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seemed boring at first but its really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed this novel a lot. It was exciting, yet emotional at the same time. About a girl overcoming her struggles of raising herself and her brother at such a young age, all alone with no help. Even though its short, it was a great read. I would suggust it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every student has to turn in his or her journal in Mrs. Dunphrey¿s English class. Mrs. Dunphrey won¿t read any entry if they put ¿Do not read this.¿ on their journal. Tish desperately needed someone talk to, so she wrote about her life in her journal. She wrote about really private, and dangerous things. And she put ¿Do not read this.¿ most of the times. But, she wondered if Mrs. Dunphrey doesn¿t read her journal or not. She doubted that Mrs. Dunphrey was actually reading her journal. She couldn¿t trust any adult. Tish wrote everything about her on her journal. Because she wanted someone to listen her story and she wanted to get rid of her fear. But, she didn¿t want people to have compassion for her. And she couldn¿t trust someone. So, she put ¿Do not read this¿. Mrs. Dunphrey actually didn¿t read which Tish put ¿Do not read this.¿ So, she didn¿t know what was going on around Tish. But She realized something was going on around her. And she was really worrying about her. And she helped Tish when she was really in trouble. Finally Tish led Mrs. Dunphrey all her journal, which she put ¿Don¿t read this.¿ She didn¿t have someone who she can trust, but Mrs. Dunphrey was only person who Tish could trust. After that Mrs. Dunphrey took care of her and Tish was be able to confided about all he trouble. This book was much different. This book is written by just her journal. So, it was kind of bored for me because every page was all same patterns. But story was good. It was good that Tish finally showed her mind to someone. Everyone needs to have someone who can trust. So, they can talk about them and they can be helped from someone.