It's Not the End of the World
|Genre||Young adult novel|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Karen's world seems to be crumbling before her eyes. She is led to believe that marriage only causes heartache and sorrow, and so she decides that she will never get married. Just before she enters the sixth grade, she is overjoyed that she will be placed in the class of a very nice teacher that she desperately wanted to have; her hopes are shattered when she discovers that the teacher got married over the summer and has turned into a "witch." Her parents act like they do not love each other anymore; the only way that they communicate is by arguing and fighting over every possible situation. Eventually, her father moves out of the family's house. When he announces his plans to go to Las Vegas to file for divorce, her mother is very happy.
Next, Karen's older brother Jeff has a fight with his mother in a restaurant and runs away after he finds out about his father going to Las Vegas. Their father stays home to find Jeff, so the father is unable to go to Las Vegas. Everyone including the police get involved, but after a little while Jeff comes back on his own. Then to make things worse Karen's mother announces that they are moving. Karen tries every possible way to stop the divorce from happening, including sending anniversary cards and feigning illness. She grades the days in her diary: only rarely does the day get an A+. At the end there is the possibility that things might be getting better even though she does not succeed in getting her parents to remarry. Karen tries to see things in a better way and tries to make the best of things and finally has a B+ day.
- Karen — the protagonist, who apparently finds life getting confusing.
- Debbie — Karen's best friend. She is described as a pretty, funny, and delightful person and is good at making monkey faces. She has a crush on Karen's brother Jeff although he shows no interest in her.
- Eleanor "Ellie" Newman — Karen's mother.
- William "Bill" Newman — Karen's father.
- Gary Owens — The boy Karen had a crush on until he goes to Texas. Although not mentioned, Karen thinks he likes her best friend, Debbie.
- Mrs. Singer — Karen's teacher. She is described by Karen as being really nice before, but becoming a "witch" after getting married over the summer.
- Jeffrey "Jeff" — Karen's older brother. He's fourteen and is described as handsome. He is interested in girls and weightlifting. He is liked by Debbie and teases her in a playful manner.
- Amy — Karen's younger sister, six years old, described as being rather plain-faced, who likes making up riddles.
- Valerie "Val" — a new friend of Karen whose parents are divorced and knows all about it (according to herself).
- Mary Louise — a girlfriend of Jeff's whom is described as being kind of chubby.
- Garfa — Karen's grandfather. He has a good relationship with Karen.
- Petey Mansfield — Jeff's best friend.
- Uncle Dan — Aunt Ruth's husband.
- Aunt Ruth — Mrs. Newman's sister. Hates Ellie`s husband.
- Mew — Karen's cat.