{That’s Not What Happened: Kody Keplinger}

I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{That’s Not What Happened: Kody Keplinger}That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
Published by Scholastic Press on August 28, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Crime, Death & Dying, Family, Friendship, Middle School, Realistic Fiction, YA Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Scholastic Press
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5 Stars





{Synopsis} –It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.

Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . . .

{My thoughts} – Some books have the potential to really hit home with a lot of people. Some books have the ability to pull you into the story without you fully realizing it and keeping you there until the very end, then they leave you wanting more and more. This is one of those kinds of books.

It is written in the narrative of Lee, she was a survivor of a school shooting that had taken place at her High School. She was one of six. It tells of her life and what it was like after the shooting. Three years later and how her and the others that had survived were fairing. It tell’s of how her best friend Sarah had died that die and how the story surrounding Sarah’s death was false.

This book helps you to reach into the minds of those that were there in the past, and that are still there in the present. It helps to paint you an image of what each student that had both lived and or died were like. It helps to show you both sides of the coin and it introduces you to the fact that not everyone’s story is going to be the same. There will be similarities, but not everything will match up word for word.

Lee decides after three years it is time to set the story straight. That it’s time she tells everyone that what they have been believing had happened at the time Sarah was killed isn’t what had happened. That the eye witness account the police had received from another student wasn’t what had happened. That in all intents in purposes “That’s not what Happened.”

I have always wondered how a book could be written that would show a reader what had happened in the past, the present and so on to those that were there and those that had their lives ruined in a sense by such a terrible act of violence. This book helped to put a lot of that into perspective. What I enjoyed the most was how the book didn’t outright name or accuse the shooter of being anything other then the shooter. I like that the author left it up to the readers to decide how they wanted to portray him in our minds.

I really think that this book should be on every school bookshelf. That it should be mandatory reading in English classrooms from grade six on through the end of High School. I really think that children could benefit from reading this book. It helps to show them that even though things aren’t always great that participating in such an act of violence isn’t the answer. That sometimes it’s better to talk to someone then to take your hurt and anger out on so many people. Many people that get hurt or die in situations like this had never done anything to the individual committing the act of violence. In many cases the person doing it has the mentality of I’m hurting so I want so many more to hurt. More often then not though, they end up dead or worse in all these scenarios.

I recommend that parents have their children read this book, once they are old enough to. It’s well written and it helps to open up someone’s eyes about what happens during mass shootings. It helps to show that the victims aren’t the only one’s that are left hurting. that it’s all those around them. It help’s to show that even when everything is said and done, that life will and can continue on after for all those that are survivors.