Tish's English teacher, Mrs. Dunfrey, requires the students to write in a journal 3 times a week. She specifically said that if the students mark an entry "Do Not Read" she will not read it. At first, Tish distrusts the promise. She tests Mrs. Dunfrey by writing about harmless things that no one else would know (the fact that Tish can crochet for example). Once Tish realizes that the journal is safe, she begins writing freely and talking about how difficult her life is becoming. Her father is abusive and has left them. Her mother is depressed and doesn't do anything except cry that she wants the father back. Tish has an 8-year old brother, Matt and she takes care of him. She talks about how much she misses her Granma and how she doesn't really care about school. She talks about her job and how she deals with problems there. Tish started doing the journal because she was required to, but she gradually comes to realize that writing in the journal is like talking to a friend. But, will she ever let Mrs. Dunfrey read any of her real entries? And what is going to happen to Tish & Matt.
I enjoyed this book. It is told completely through Tish's journal entries which are very heartfelt and meaningful. Tish struggles to be the adult in her family and is dealing with issues far beyond her years. I liked her strength and her vulnerability. And the end of the book is satisfying without feeling too trite.