A Step Toward Falling

Cammie McGovern. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-227113-6
Emily knows that she isn’t good at everything (boys, for instance), but she generally thinks she’s a good person—until the night she does nothing when Belinda, a classmate with special needs, is being assaulted at a football game. Now Emily and Lucas, a star football player who also failed to act, must volunteer at a social skills class for adults with developmental disabilities. Interacting with Lucas and the class members is initially awkward for Emily, but she comes to see past her preconceptions about all of them. But this isn’t just Emily’s story: it’s also Belinda’s. Alternating passages follow Belinda as she recovers from the attack—which she successfully fended off—and returns to school, eventually befriending Emily and Lucas. No mere empathy builder for Emily and Lucas, Belinda is a fully developed character—good at some things (better than Emily and Lucas, in fact), bad at others. Without evading or sugarcoating difficult topics, McGovern (Say What You Will) shows that disabled and able aren’t binary states but part of a continuum—a human one. Ages 14–up. Agent: Margaret Riley King, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/27/2015
Release date: 10/06/2015
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-239590-0
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-227115-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-1944-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-4502-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-4501-0
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-06-227114-3
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-606-39483-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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