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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Author of the highly praised teen novel Gingerbread, Rachel Cohn shifts down to a younger gear with this totally "graayate" page-turner about a New York City girl getting to know her new Aussie stepfamily.
When Annabel's dad (Jack) moves to Australia to live with his new wife (Penny) and her kids (Lucy and Angus), Annabel's only concern is to lure him back home. So when she goes to visit the clan in Sydney, this New York 12-year-old arrives with a serious attitude. Despite the warm hospitality from everyone -- especially 12-year-old Lucy -- nothing Down Under makes the grade, including the relaxed Aussie fashions, the strange food, or the way people speak. Soon, however, Annabel begins to actually have fun with her stepfamily, but after she takes a sneaky, anti-parent escape trip to Melbourne with Lucy, the entire group quickly realizes that uniting as a family -- no matter how disjointed -- is better than staying worlds apart.
With a sassy but thoughtful main character and a tone that keeps the book from getting too message heavy, The Steps is a lighthearted look at nontraditional families that will leave readers feeling sunnier and wiser. Cohn expertly develops her diverse cast so that no one is clichéd or predictable, and readers can even use the cool character flowchart on the book's cover to keep track of who's who. Annabel and her 21st-century family make for one "rip snorter" of a read. Shana Taylor