A Step Toward Falling
Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.
Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?
- New York Times Book Review : “Universal human emotions and challenges link the characters across boundaries of gender, class, and I.Q. This is a beautiful, big-hearted book with important lessons embedded in compelling stories of two irresistible girls. Expertly executed and movingly realized.”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review) : “Without evading or sugarcoating difficult topics, McGovern shows that disabled and able aren’t binary states but part of a continuum—a human one.”
- School Library Journal (starred review) : “ Highly recommended for realistic fiction collections.”
- ALA Booklist (starred review) : “McGovern’s ample experience with special needs youth is evident, as it allows this unique story shine from within.”
- BookBrowse.com : “It’s hard not to fall in love with McGovern’s story. Fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson’s brand of realistic YA fiction should find a new favorite in Cammie McGovern’s lovely A Step Toward Falling.”
- Justine Magazine : “So much love for this wise and powerful book. Most of all for Belinda—a girl with a cognitive disability who shows how full a life can be, and who loves Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth as much as we do. For fans of Jennifer Niven and Jandy Nelson.”
- Kirkus Reviews : “The sensitive overview of tough issues gracefully balances romance with reality. Fans of Jane Austen will appreciate this unconventional homage.”
- The Globe and Mail : “McGovern gives readers characters, not archetypes. It’s a poignant, warm, compelling book that insists that mistakes and redemption can go hand in hand.”
- Examiner.com : “Beautifully written. Everyone who reads this book will be touched and forced to question her/his own stereotypes.”
- TeenReads.com : “Readers will fall more in love with the characters the more they read.”