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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.

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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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