Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn
Jessica is beside herself when Mr. O’Brien chooses her to be Daphne’s partner in the seventh grade Write-a-Book contest. All the kids at school think Daphne is strange. She dresses bizarre, mismatched clothes and she never speaks to anyone. Jessica is in for a pleasant surprise, though, when she spends magical afternoons working on the book with Daphne and her little sister, Hope. As their friendship deepens and Jessica begins to see beyond Daphne’s surface, she also comes to discover a tragic secret that Daphne must keep hidden from the world. Jessica promises never to tell anyone. But when the secret becomes a serious threat to Daphne and Hope, Jessica is torn between protecting her friendship with Daphne, and doing what she knows she must do. With warmth, humor, and finely wrought characterizations, Mary Downing Hahn weaves a poignant story that explores the limits of caring and responsibility.