Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 196
Cammie McGovern's A Step Toward Falling (published in 2015) is representative of her choice genre of young adult fiction. Her characters are all high school students but represent vastly different backgrounds and circumstances.
The narrators are the two protagonists: Emily and Belinda. Emily is a leader of the Youth Action Coalition at her school and has a crush on a new member, which distracts her mentally from the attack on Belinda, a disabled girl (whose disability is never explicated), during a school football game. Emily is both a high-achieving student (receiving good grades in AP classes) and socially conscious. She feels bad for her negligence during Belinda's attack and wonders if Lucas does, too.
Lucas is a popular high-school football player. Alongside Emily, he is punished and sentenced to community service at a center for the developmentally disabled. While fulfilling this community service together, Emily realizes that Lucas, too, is nervous and uncomfortable, and also feels guilty as a result of the incident at the football field.
Minor characters include Emily's crush, Toby, who misleads her into thinking that he wants a relationship. Anthony, another boy from the center for the disabled, becomes a preoccupation for Belinda.
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