STEP BY WICKED STEP by Anne Fine

STEP BY WICKED STEP

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sleepover in a reputedly haunted house becomes a night of revelations and storytelling for five classmates in this lightly therapeutic tale. Fine (Flour Babies, 1994, etc.) sets a deliciously spooky scene: On a dark and stormy night, Colin, Rob, Claudia, Ralph, and Pixie discover a hidden door in their gloomy quarters, and behind that a dusty diary titled ``Richard Clayton Harwick--My Story. Read and Weep.'' They settle down for a dramatic reading and hear a bitter tale of the death of a father, his usurpation by a hated stepfather, and the subsequent demise of Harwick's entire family. This sparks the children--each with a very different experience--to tell about their own divorced or absent parents, of coping with siblings and stepsiblings, shuttling among various residences, meeting new adults, living with or letting out resentments. Offering a wide variety of alternative living arrangements, plus a selection of apothegms--``Everyone's story is different,'' ``Misery isn't a baton in a relay race . . . you can't get rid of it just by passing it on''--Fine doesn't conceal her agenda or create much of a plot, but gives her characters distinct voices and attitudes and helps readers understand that wounds do heal, if allowed to. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-316-28345-2
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996




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