I have long been a fan of Mary Downing Hahn's work, especially her historical fiction. However, back in sixth grade my friend Stephanie let me borrow a book she had checked out from the library (yes, I know....something I tell my kids never to do - loan a library book out to someone else while it's checked out to you!). Daphne's Book by Hahn was so fabulous I continued to think of it for some time.
Jessica is paired with Daphne, the weird girl in the class, for a writing assignment. Of course she doesn't like her partner, but does realize Daphne is talented. The two strike up a friendship, and then Jessica begins to realize what Daphne's home life is like.
My school library's copy of this one is old and nearly ruined, but I would love to read this one with my own girls. This is another example of one of those books that gave me a good idea what the difference was between an average book and an extraordinary book.