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Minor dramas & other catastrophes

by West, Kathleen, 1978-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 22 copies
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Summary
Perfect for fans of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions , a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High--the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle--and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.

When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.

Isobel Johnson has spent her career in Liston Heights sidestepping the community's high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda, she's in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott, obsessed with the casting of the school's winter musical, makes an error in judgment that has far-reaching consequences for her entire family.

Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, Isobel and Julia learn firsthand how entitlement and competition can go too far, thanks to a secret Facebook page created as an outlet for parent grievances. The Liston Heights High student body will need more than a strong sense of school spirit to move past these campus dramas in an engrossing debut novel that addresses parents behaving badly and teenagers speaking up, even against their own families.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Liston Heights is like any other high school: it's drama doesn't just play out on stage. There are helicopter parents, and then there's Julia Abbott. Having spent a considerable amount of time and money on a new costume shop, she's positive that her son will be rewarded with a plum part in Liston Heights' winter musical. When the cast list is posted, Julia can't help herself from heading to the school to see it in person, but her misplaced enthusiasm sets off a surprising chain of events. English teacher Isobel Johnson is another subject of Julia's recent attention. Attuned to her students' privilege, Isobel makes it a priority to open their eyes to a variety of perspectives. When some parents think Isobel's curriculum veers past liberal and into un-American territory, the administration gets involved. A cutting and witty examination of modern parenting that excels in suburban relatability, West's debut novel will pique the curiosity of fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2012) and Jean Hanff Korelitz's Admission (2009).--Stephanie Turza Copyright 2020 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "West's humorous debut channels the competitive parenting and overblown school drama of Big Little Lies. Isobel Johnson, an English teacher at a top public school in Liston Heights, Minn., is bent on encouraging her students to think critically, but the school's administration and some of her students' parents accuse her of spreading radical ideas. First, a discussion on The Great Gatsby, in which she invited her juniors to compare their school's community to East Egg, allegedly results in some of the students being made to "feel bad about where they're from," so says her department chair. In chapters shifting between Isobel and a particularly over-the-top parent named Julia Abbott, fallout from another one of Isobel's lesson--about queer theory--leads to her suspension and a virulent social media campaign led by Julia. While many different characters flash by in short chapters, distracting from Isobel and Julia and staving off opportunities for emotional complexity, West successfully unpacks the problems of shaming and cancel culture with tight plotting and clean prose. West demonstrates a worthy talent for tragicomedy. (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Schools -- Fiction.
Parent-teacher relationships -- Fiction.
Parent and child -- Fiction.
Social media -- Fiction.
Shame -- Fiction.
Students -- Fiction.
Privilege (Social psychology) -- Fiction.
College and school drama -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 377 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780593098400
0593098404
Other Classic View