Books by Katie Cobb

HAPPENINGS by Katie Cobb
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2002

Kelsey Gene Blackwell's good standing in her high-school AP English class is in jeopardy. Her well-liked teacher, Mrs. Delaney, has stopped teaching. She comes to class, passes out worksheets, collects everything at the end of the period, and says little. Missing the good books, discussions, and challenging writing assignments, the students stage a protest—a quiet, polite refusal to do any work until Mrs. Delaney teaches again. When the zeros on papers begin adding up and her grade-point average plummets, Kelsey panics. How did she get into this? How does she get out? The mystery that pulls the reader along is why Mrs. Delaney has stopped teaching. Only later does Kelsey realize she joined the protest before talking with her teacher, before treating her like a human being she could communicate with. It's a promising premise, but there is too much going on here: the protest and its consequences; the mystery of Mrs. Delaney; the recent death of Kelsey's father from an aneurysm; her mother's consequent mental breakdown; and Kelsey's living on her own under the guardianship of a much older brother. A lot is being juggled, much of the story is told rather than allowed to unfold, and the adult perspective is too evident in the teenage narrator's voice. Ultimately, though, the good premise and the themes of family, peer pressure, independence, and communication will appeal to many teen readers. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >