Sandi's Reviews > Small Steps

Small Steps by Louis Sachar
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's review
Jul 17, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008, books-my-son-liked, young-adult
Recommended to Sandi by: My son
Read in July, 2008

“Small Steps” by Louis Sachar is the sequel to “Holes.” Well, it’s really sort of the sequel to “Holes,” in a way. The tone and style aren’t at all like “Holes.” It’s a serious story with serious plot developments. It doesn’t have the humor of “Holes.” While it is a completely self-contained story, I do recommend that you read “Holes” first if you want to understand some of the references to it scattered throughout the “Small Steps.”

“Small Steps” follows up on the story of Armpit after he leaves Camp Green Lake. He’s got a list of small steps he wants to accomplish. He wants to finish high school, work, save some money, and stay out of trouble. He’s doing really well until his Camp Green Lake buddy, X-Ray, shows up and talks him into a ticket-scalping scheme. Alongside Armpit’s story, we get the story of Kaira DeLeon, a pop sensation who befriends Armpit and his young disabled neighbor, Ginny.

The strongest aspect of “Small Steps” is it’s characters. Sachar does an excellent job of putting the reader in his character’s shoes. You really identify with Armpit, a black teen whom trouble always finds; Ginny, a little girl with cerebral palsy; and Kaira, a rising star with a creepy stepfather and no real home or friends. I think my favorite character was Kaira. Through her, you can see how so many young stars end up as screwed up adults.

While “Small Steps” is an easy read, I don’t recommend it for young readers. There is a plot twist that is very disturbing and I believe it takes a bit of maturity to handle it. However, it is a fantastic book for middle-school readers that will give them a lot to think about while entertaining them.

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