It's Not the End of the World

It's Not the End of the World is a 1972 novel for teenagers; it was written by Judy Blume.

The lead character of the story is a 12-year-old girl named Karen Newman. Karen is the middle child in her family and is unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for her) not her parents' favorite. She has an older brother named Jeff (age 14; her mother's favorite) and a younger sister named Amy (age 6; her father's favorite).

Plot summary

Karen's world seems to be crumbling down before her eyes. She is led to believe that marriage only causes heartache and pain, and so she decides that she will never marry. Just before she entered sixth grade, she was overjoyed that she was placed in the class of a teacher that she desperately wanted to have; her hopes were shattered when she discovered that the teacher got married the summer before and has turned into a "witch." Her parents act like they don't love each other anymore; the only ways 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. Karen's brother Jeff runs away after he finds out about his dad going to Las Vegas. Their father stays home to find Jeff, so he is unable to go to Las Vegas. Karen tries every possible way to stop the divorce from happening, including sending anniversary cards and pretending to be ill.


  • Karen- the protagonist.
  • Debbie - Karen's best friend. She is described as pretty. She is a funny, delighted person and is good at making monkey faces. She likes Karen's brother Jeff although he shows no interest in her.
  • Karen's mother (Eleanor "Ellie" Newman)
  • Karen's father (William "Bill" Newman)
  • Gary Owens - Karen's love interest 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 last year but after she got married, she became a witch.
  • Jeff - a brother of Karen and is described as handsome. He is liked by Debbie and teases her in a playful way.Near the end of the book, he runs away, but comes back.
  • Amy - Karen's younger sister who likes making up riddles
  • 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, kind of chubby
  • Garfa - Karen's grandfather
  • Petey Mansfield - Jeff's Best Friend
  • Uncle Dan - Aunt Ruth's Husband
  • Aunt Ruth - Mrs. Newman's Sister
  • Mew - Karen's cat

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