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Parents' Guide to

The Steps

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Spunky tween learns to accept her new, complicated family.

The Steps Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+
I think that this is a very good book. I am 17 and i've read this book about 4 times.
age 2+

It was very nice

Annabel's family is complicated (and diagrammed on the cover of the book). When she travels from New York to visit her father and his new family in Australia, she has one thought in mind -- to convince him to come back. She sees her new stepsiblings and stepmother as the ones who stole her father from her so, despite their initial friendliness, she is determined to be cool to them. But, of course, this doesn't go as planned. Her father is happy with his new family in a way that he never was before, and she finds herself liking her stepsister, Lucy. But more difficulties are on the way -- while she was gone, her mother got remarried to the father of a boy in her class.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Author Rachel Cohn does some things well; her dialogue is natural and real, and she understands teens and their feelings. Because of this Annabel never seems like a brat, even though some of her behavior is bratty. Especially well-done is the parental reaction to the girls running away. In addition to having a police officer show them pictures of what can happen to runaways, they are given serious punishments that very much fit the crime and yet are not unduly harsh or unkind. There is a too-pat ending, but middle school girls will still feel connected with Annabel and appreciate her new perspective on family.

Book Details

  • Author: Rachel Cohn
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: November 29, 2003
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 137
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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