One More Step

"No. It's not okay. You're not going." He used the voice. 
"Excuse me?" 
"You heard me. I said no." 
"You can't tell me what to do!"
"Oh yes I can - I'm your father!"
"Since when?"

Fourteen-year-old Julian's parents separated when he was a baby and he is still angry and hurt. His mother has had relationships since—all of which have ended disastrously—but this time it seems serious. Jean-Paul looks like he might be the real thing. Julian is wary—and critical—as he comes to terms with the fact that he and his brother may have to let down their defences and allow their mother to find happiness. On a road trip with his mother and her new beau, Julian finds that love—and happiness—come in many guises. In the end, he realizes that it is not blood that determines true family, but the willingness to stand together.

"I have to start by saying that I am a huge, and I mean huge Sheree Fitch fan. One More Step, is fabulous. It's about a couple of brothers and their single parent mom who has a new man in her life. Told from Julian's point of view, it draws you in right away.

The book starts with 'Purple condoms. My brother got purple condoms in his Christmas stocking. Mom must think things are heating up between Chris and Becca. Not likely.'

Julian's voice rings true throughout; sometimes cocky and belligerent, other times unsure. There are some hilarious scenes, like when they are rained out on a camping trip. On the other hand, Christmas holidays with their real dad and his young family makes your heart ache. The closeness between Julian and his no-nonsense grandfather helps centre Julian, but when Poppy suddenly dies, Julian is like a lost little boy who lashes out. I won't give away any more except to say that Fitch's deft touch ensures that this is not an issue book but a story about people you will love. It is part of Orca Book Publishers excellent "Soundings" series for teens who are reluctant readers."

~ Sheryl McFarlane

Paperback, 96 pages. Orca Book Publishers (Oct 1 2002)
ISBN-10: 155143248X  /  ISBN-13: 978-1551432489