Mock Printz 2023 discussion

A Step Toward Falling
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Mock Printz 2016 > A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

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message 1: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Friebel (jenna_friebel) | 86 comments Our last read of the year! Will A Step Toward Falling win the Printz award? What did you think about this book?


message 2: by Tck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tck Reads | 3 comments I really, really enjoyed this book. It had wonderful characters, reminiscent of classic YA authors like Judy Blume and Betty Bates. I loved the character development in all characters and how their growth and depth complimented and ignited the other. On a social level, this is an important story because it isn't just about acceptance but also about activism and true humanity.


Sarah | 42 comments Here is my review....full disclosure, she sent me the ARC because we went to the same college and have become friends after she did an online book discussion for me on Eye Contact
Told in alternating voices, this is an honest, poignant and sharply observed story of change and understanding. Two teens, a football player and an AP geek, witness the sexual assault of a student with developmental disabilities under the bleachers at a football game. They do nothing, neither gets her help. Both students freeze in the moment, each for their own reasons. Their inaction is reported to the high school and they both are ordered to perform community service at a center for people with disabilities. McGovern gets their voices just right, McGovern has experience with the developmentally disabled and it shows in the authentic way she depicts all of the characters. Every one of them is fully drawn, flaws and all. A Step Toward Falling is sharp and funny and thought provoking. I hope this book ends up on many lists at awards season, McGovern has found her genre.


Mary HD (marymaclan) | 84 comments I enjoyed this book, but I was more taken with the character development than the writing style, and I felt the nexus of the plot was weak for two out of the three characters.

The book was written from the perspective of two main characters, Belinda, a developmentally disabled and older high school student and Emily, a top student academically who has found her own little niche in the high school hierarchy. Lucas, a football player, connects with these two girls when Belinda is attacked during a football game and neither Lucas or Emily, who both observed the attack, help quickly enough to avoid punishment from the school administration or personal guilt feelings. (I thought this plot point was weak, frankly.) Lucas and Emily meet as community-service volunteers in a group for young adults who need help with their social skills.

Emily is the protagonist; but as a character, she comes close to wearing out her welcome. Her heart is in the right place, and she wants to do her best to help Belinda - but it seems that all too much of the activity in the novel is about Emily's feelings, and Emily's impulses, and Emily's whatever. There are tons of books about such girls.

Belinda was a more engaging character, and the time given to describing her distinctive outlook on the world and her family never became tiresome.

Lucas as a character benefited from his third-person presence in the book; the bit of mystery accruing to his actions helped to make his story more appealing.

(I took this book a little more seriously after reading about the author's extensive and admirable work with children with special needs.)


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