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The Steps (Steps #1)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  464 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews

Twelve-year-old Annabel thought Christmas break was going to be amazing. She'd planned to stay home in New York City with her best friend and do traditional things like go ice-skating in Rockefeller Center, hit the after-Christmas sale at Bloomingdale's, and scream with the TRL crowd at MTV in Times Square. But when her best friend bails, Annabel's mom decides it's high ti
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2003)
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Feb 16, 2012 L12_markmesserly rated it liked it
This review pertains to the 2003 hardcover edition.

This first-person narrative is about twelve-year-old Annabel, a Manhattan pre-teen navigating radical changes in her family. Her parents, Jack and Angelina, divorced following a rocky marriage. Jack moved to Australia to live with his second wife, leaving Annabel in New York with Angelina. Annabel is jealous of her Australian blended family, particularly towards twelve-year-old Lucy. When Annabel has a chance to visit Australia, she envisions wa
Amy Snyder
Jun 14, 2014 Amy Snyder rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annabel Schubert has a complicated family. Her parents broke up when she was just a kid; her father remarried and moved to Australia, where his new wife (who also had children) gave birth to Annabel's new half-sister. Now her mom is getting serious with her boyfriend, leaving Annabel with the prospect of yet another step-sibling. When Annabel is forced to spend her summer vacation visiting her father and his new family, she knows she needs to find a way to to bring her father back home and short ...more
Ms. Patterson
Feb 20, 2010 Ms. Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annabel is going to visit her dad over Christmas vacation in Australia and finally meet her steps. Feeling left out and missing her dad over the two years he's been gone, Annabel begins her trip with the idea that she will convince her dad to return to NYC with her. During her stay, Annabel's jealousy slowly turns to friendship and more with her new extended family.

Ideally suited for middle grades readers, I'd recommend it for grades 5 and 6 especially. THE STEPS portrays the difficulty kids exp
Yu Tong Mei
Sep 06, 2011 Yu Tong Mei rated it it was ok
This book shows the conflict of two sisters. Annabel and Lucy were more like enemies. Annabel didn't like Lucy so much because she is her stepsister. When Lucy and her mother was about to travel to Australia to meet her new family, Annabel started to have some evil plans. She thought of many ways to torture her new stepsister.

It's often that people are having objective opinions based on relationship. In this book, author described the complicated reelationship between these two stepsisters. I
Jul 24, 2011 Tori added it
2003- I first fell in love with Rachel Cohn's writing with her book Gingerbread, which focused on teenagers. This story is focused more on the preteen set. Annabel has quite the confusing family, as demonstrated by the family ""tree"" on the cover, which I thought was a nice touch. During Christmas break, her mother decides she should spend some time with her father, who happens to now be married, have two stepchildren and a new baby with his new wife, and oh yeah, lives in Sydney, Australia. I ...more
Xiao Yan
Nov 29, 2007 Xiao Yan rated it liked it
Shelves: school-year-07
Twelve-year-old Annabel was planning to stay home with her best friend in Nyc for Christmas, but everyhting gets ruined. Her mom decides that she should visit her dad and his " new "family in Australia. Disappointed, she goes and meets "the steps", a twelve-year-old fashion-disaster stepsister,a five-year-old stepbrother, and a baby half sister. She is determined to win her father back with this trip. During this time, she learns more about her other family members and realizes that her dad stil ...more
Brittian R
Nov 25, 2010 Brittian R rated it it was amazing
The Steps starts off with a girl named Annabel. Her mom said she had to go to her Dad's house for Christmas this year. Annabel was not in the mood to see her dad and her step sister Lucy and step brother Angus. Annabel thought that Lucy and Angus are going to take her dad away from her. During the time she was there her and Lucy were becoming more close, but was still annoyed that they treated her like her guest even though it was her dad. Her and Lucy were getting sick of being bored, so they r ...more
The book The Steps, is a book about a twelve year old girl named Annabel. She is just about to go on christmas break and is extremly excited for it. Annabel and her friend were supposed to hang-out the whole break in NYC but her friend bails on her and goes somewhere else. Annabel's mom tell her that she should go to her dad's house ans pend some time with him. But Annabel doesn't want to meet the new family. Her dad lives half way around the world and doesn't want to go just to meet the "steps" ...more
Jun 05, 2007 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annabel is off to Sydney, Australia. This was not her idea and doesn't sound like fun--she had a perfectly lovely winter break planned in New York, thank you very much. But Annabel's dad has remarried and lives in Australia now with his new wife, two kids from her first marriage, and their new baby. Annabel's mission? To bring her dad back to the US where he belongs. With her. Of course, it doesn't end that way and we have several heart-warming moments about the meaning of family. On the cover o ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Carrie rated it really liked it
The Steps by Rachel Cohn captures the voice, insecurities, and inner dialogue of tweens perfectly. Tweens in particular are trying to figure out how they fit in, and Annabel exemplifies this when she visits her father and discovers she’s one of many people he loves. Though her exterior is cool and her attitude even chillier, Annabel is still an insecure girl who wants to fit in and be accepted. She is full of impulsive, spiteful remarks that are typical of tweens. She’s also quick with the humor ...more
Annabel has traveled from New York, NY to Sydney, Australia to meet her new step family for the first time. There is conflict, there is a risky adventure, bonds are formed. And then Annabel gets more family. Annabel is self-assured, even a little cocky, but not really prepared for a new family, and she believes she can talk her dad out of leaving them and coming home. Apparently, twelve is a delusional age. I'd expect it to go over well with fans of Moving Day.

Library copy.
Kim B.
Sep 12, 2010 Kim B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-11-readings
Annabel Schubert is a marvelous character. Normally I would hate a girl like her: fashion-obsessed, resentful of her step-family, etc. However, she is so much like a real person, and a funny and highly likable one at that, that she won me over quickly. Sure, she is sometimes snobbish, resentful, and irksome, but her every emotion is totally realistic. Her whole family, steps and all, did as well, and stood out as individual characters. And did I mention this book is really, really funny? 'Cause ...more
Noelle H
Dec 09, 2010 Noelle H rated it liked it
I gave this book three stars because it was exciting. It was a little slow at the beginning, but towards the middle and the end, it was fantastic. I really liked that the two girls were totally different, yet they got along pretty well at the end. I like how the girl who seemed like the total 'goodie-goodie' was the one who came up with the plan to run away to her grandma's house. It was a really good book, and it kept me reading. I hope more people read this book, because it was pretty good.
Judi Paradis
Dec 05, 2009 Judi Paradis rated it liked it
A pretty good book for kids about to enter middle school. Annabel is twelve and her parents are divorced. During Christmas vacation, she's leaving her mom and grandmother to travel to visit with her dad and his new family in Australia, and while she's there she finds out that her mom is remarrying the father of her class nerd. Annabel is not happy about any of her new step brothers and sisters, but as the book continues, she figures them out and actually comes to a happy ending. Easy to read, fu ...more
Katie Bruce
Aug 06, 2010 Katie Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
3.5 stars. Wanted to try something else by Rachel Cohn since the only other thing I've read by her is her half of Nick & Norah (which is LOVE). This is a quick little read for tweens with a sassy narrator from "Manhattan, baby." Annabel goes to Australia over Christmas break to visit her dad, and meet her step-mom and her 2 kids, aka "The Steps", for the first time. The squeaky clean, happy ending was a bit unrealistic, but felt nice. Also wasn't a huge fan of the anti-smoking scence which c ...more
Sep 27, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
I actually wasn't expecting much from this book but I ended up enjoying it very much! The author does an amazing job finding the voice of a 13-year-old stuck-up New York girl with an incredibly complicated family. Her parents both have new spouses that have provided Annabel with more step- and half- siblings than she is willing to deal with. Being sent to Australia to see her father's new family forces her to deal with the steps in new and uncomfortable ways. Written with Meg Cabot- type candor, ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Shauna rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It's so relatable, I really feel the emotions of Annabel as she visits her father in Australia. Annabel's father has gotten remarried and moved across the world, where he lives with his two stepkids. These new step-siblings cause a lot of mixed feelings for Annabel, and she goes through a lot of change in this book. The characters undergo a lot of development throught the story as well. This is a wonderful book for the upper elementary school or middle school reader.
Jun 22, 2012 Abbie rated it liked it
I mean, I was too old for it. But Rachel Cohn's writing is perky and believable as a twelve-year-old, and the family stuff was super sweet. I know I was a little annoyed with Annabel at the beginning, because I mean she was too obnoxious for no reason, but I grew used to her and it was then fine.

The ending made me feel all fuzzy inside, what with the way everyone comes together. I'm a sucker for happy families (and unhappy families!)
Nov 10, 2013 Hillary rated it liked it
Super cute and charming, with that light yet affecting undercurrent of serious concerning CODs (children-of-divorce) that I knew would just get me from the start. This is the first time I'd read a non-David-Levitan-coauthored book of Cohn's and I'm so glad I picked it up. Her characters are all endearing and true, her stories heartfelt and fun to read.
May 26, 2015 Minette rated it it was amazing
The story is fun and spontaneous! I enjoyed it because I actually belong to an extended family, but nevertheless the story is still charming and entertaining. It will open minds to understanding extended families, children in extended families, and also, I'm warning you that I, at the age of 10, learned from this book some quirks and adventures of teenagers.
Nov 10, 2009 Audrey rated it really liked it
When Annabel goes to Austraila to see her dad, (or, Jack, as she calls him) she finds that his new wife and kids have stolen him away from her. She has hopes beyond hopes that she can convince her father to come back to Manhatten with her. Then she realizes that Juack is much happier there. Can she share her father with them without losing him entierly?
Oct 24, 2008 H rated it really liked it
I thought this was really cute and realistic--especially how the main character is so reluctant to like or even get to know her step-family. The author seemed to have a really good feel for twelve-year-olds, because the main character's voice sounded really authentic. I didn't feel like Cohn was trying too hard to sound young--I thought it fit perfectly.
Jun 08, 2008 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
A sweet, innocent story about a girl meeting her "steps" for the first time. I don't usually like ooey-gooey sweetness, but Rachel Cohn is really good at introducing just a little bit of subversiveness to keep it interesting.
Aug 02, 2008 Mmmis4meg rated it it was amazing
It was a really good book about this girl who has to go to Australia to visit her dad, step mom, and step sister and step brother, and half sister. She also takes an adventure and meets this incredable boy!!! it was really reallly good!
Nov 25, 2008 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story for middle grades about a girl having to adjust to an extended family of 'steps', including a new stepsister close to her age and a younger stepbrother, while visiting her father in Australia for Christmas vacation.
Aug 25, 2007 Abby rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
This book was about a girl getting to know her international step siblings. While not my favorite by this author it's a great look into a situation that many kids find themselves in these days. Despite a precictable ending, I am excited to read the sequel.
Mary Bronson
Jul 29, 2013 Mary Bronson rated it it was amazing
Thought this was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed reading it. I loved the plot and the characters. It is not common in most books to have a good "step" family relationship. Yes things start out weird, but sometimes people can make them work.
Oct 09, 2012 6maginn_taylor rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it is by far one of the best books i have ever read. People can actually connect to the book and understand what they are talking about! I would tell a lot of people to read this book.
Oct 29, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, realistic
Annabel is sent to Australia over Christmas vacation to spend time with her dad and the Steps. She does not want steps, she just wants her dad to move back to New York where she doesn't have to share him.
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Rachel grew up in the D.C. area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Political Science. She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan. She lives and writes (when she's not reading other people's books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino) in New York City.
More about Rachel Cohn...

Other Books in the Series

Steps (2 books)
  • Two Steps Forward (Steps, #2)

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