That's Not What Happened

336p. Scholastic. Aug. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338186529. POP
Gr 8 Up—Three years ago, the students of Virgil County High School experienced the unthinkable: a mass school shooting. Now, the survivors are writing letters about their experiences that day, how it affected them afterwards, and their relationships to the victims. One of the victims, Sarah McHale, is known around the world as the Girl with the Cross Necklace, who died defending her faith. As her family prepares to write a book about her and her last proclamation, Lee—the protagonist and Sarah's best friend—feels that she needs to speak up and reveal the truth about Sarah. In a time where mass shootings have been all too common, this story gives a voice to the victims and survivors, all while avoiding mention of the shooter's name. Keplinger is known for her relatable characters and realistic teen voices and this work is no exception. The book includes a blind character, a wheelchair user, and an asexual character. This title adeptly explores how the truth can be different for people who suffered the same tragedy.
VERDICT A timely, thought-provoking read that would be a worthy addition to all high school libraries; for fans of Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing