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    Siblings, Tish and Matt Bonner, have a tough life at home. Their parents have an extremely rocky marriage. Their mom is so obsessed with pleasing their dad that she neglects not only herself but also Tish and Matt. What is worse is that their father cannot keep a job, and he stays away from home for periods at a time. When Mr. Bonner is at home, he is abusive: physically, verbally, and mentally.

    Even though their mom is the head of the household, when their father is not at home, it is actually Tish who makes sure that she and Matt have what they need. Tish is the only person providing a stable life for Matt. He recognizes this, and he looks to his sister for security. But who is there to help Tish?


    Fortunately, Mrs. Dunphrey provides Tish with an outlet -- writing -- but this is not the typical journal assignment. Students can write about anything in their journals, but if they don't want Mrs. Dunphrey to read a particular entry, then they simply write at the top of the page, "Do not read." What happens when her mom reaches her lowest point? What happens when Tish has to become an adult at 16? Will she write about her family struggles in her journal? Will she allow Mrs. Dunphrey to read her journal entries? Will she write, “Do not read” at the top of her journal entries?

    This is my second time reading this novel, and it still has a profound affect on me. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to help many Tishes and Matts. It is heartbreaking to see students endure adult situations in which their teenage minds are not mature enough to handle the stress that accompanies them. But like Mrs. Dunphrey, we help our students within our legal rights. Although this novel is fiction, it is true in many ways. It is a must read! It is a good read!


    Forever Reading's Rating =🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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