Heather P edited the description of Why Did She Have To Die? Wednesday, December 1, 2010.
Kathy Rowan, a bright 14-year-old is held up as the sterling example of what a daughter and sister should be. Her sister Elly, one year younger resents this and the way their peers flock to Kathy.
A bright, popular boy named Russ Canton takes an interest in Kathy as most of the local boys do. Since he is older and has a car, he is not one the girls' father would approve. Kathy, a school leader takes an active role in planning the spring dance and tricks Elly into participating. As they leave the meeting, Russ offers them a ride home. He does not pay attention to his driving and barely misses a child on her bike and crashes the car, killing Kathy.
Russ emerges unharmed; Elly is in a coma for a week and has a severely broken leg. Once discharged from the hospital, she limps back into life and even more reluctantly into school. Her anger at Kathy and her popularity and death escalate; she vandalizes a bathroom by smearing makeup all over the place; she trips a boy who slighted Kathy and is hostile to the one boy who makes overtures to her.
Family counseling and a chance to discuss Kathy's death and make decisions about dispensing her personal effects as well as making friends with the boy who extended the olive branch to her help empower Elly to cope with her loss.