Daphne’s Book: isolation, cars, stories

Daphne’s Book, Mary Downing Hahn. 1983.

It must have been 1988 or ’89 that I got hold of this one. I re-read Daphne’s Book often, but not all the way through, because I only liked being in one particular time of this book.

Daphne’s Book is told in the first person by Jessica, a seventh-grader. Her English teacher designates all of his students into teams of two for an inter-school Write-a-Book competition, in which the winning students will have their picture-book published. Jessica is assigned to work with Daphne, who is weird, arty, and essentially mute. Daphne is the seventh grade’s designated scapegoat, and Jessica is desperate to get out of associating with her, although the clear subtext is that she is beautiful, raven-haired and dresses like Stevie Nicks.

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