In the novel, Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs, Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Tish Bonner (a 16 year old girl) writes diary entries about the events occurring in her life.
The entries started off as a joke to her, she didn’t take them seriously because it was an assignment for her English class. Their teacher tells them that they need to journal everyday and that if they don’t want her to read them, they can write on top “Do Not Read This Mrs. Dunphrey.”
Tish writes about her life as she struggles with family, school, friends, and her job. As her life spirals more and more out of control, her entries become more and more personal.
She decides that Mrs. Dunphrey would have spoken to her about her other entries if she’d read them, so Tish becomes very honest about her life when she realizes her journal is a safe space.
As her struggles become even worse, we can see Tish writing less often in her journal. Near the end we see her have to make a choice about whether or not she should seek help. Many of us have been in a situation where we knew we needed to ask for help but were afraid to do so – that’s a very normal feeling.
I won’t spoil the book for you but this book is a great example for someone going through experiences that many people feel and how they have to figure out a healthy way to deal with them. Lots of us might have bad coping skills but books like “Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey” help us see that if a person is facing struggles then they should be serious with themselves and try to get the right help.