Read or Die


Daphne Russell spent seventeen years in classroom settings as a middle-school reading teacher using class sets of Hatchet and Esperanza Rising until 2007 when a friend told her to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. She then began teaching as though books save lives, and has never wavered from that mission. As the designated Reading Specialist at Mansfeld Middle School, Russell was part of the faculty and staff who transformed their C rated school to an A+ school during the three years Read or Die was being written. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
SKU: 9781627876056 Categories: , ,


“I look forward to the day I see yellow caution tape stretched around my students’ neighborhoods, the chalk outline of apathy on the ground, crushed by the weight of a thousand books. Until then I treat each day as if books are EpiPens and every student has a shellfish allergy with a mouth full of shrimp.”

Most of the students in Daphne Russell’s reading class have never read an entire book, and they can’t relate to Harry Potter and his magic wand. Abel is twenty-eight days behind everyone else and he needs enough books inside him to get his lungs to work again, mend his shattered heart, and kick the shit out of apathy.

In her memoir Read or Die, Russell documents her daily battle as a middle school teacher in Tucson, Arizona, fighting against predetermined trajectories of less-than beliefs with an arsenal of hard covers and tattered pages.

A talented and caring teacher, Russell offers a moving portrayal that combines rich autobiographical details with firsthand insight into the world of education. Read or Die is not only a compelling story, but also offers revealing and meaningful insights into education in America from a seasoned insider.

Go to Top