Rachel Cohn The Steps

ISBN 13: 9780689845499

The Steps

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9780689845499: The Steps
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"If you think it's hard keeping track of all the Steps in my life, try being me."

"The Steps" in Annabel's life are her "bazillion" stepbrothers, stepsisters, and half siblings. She is spending her Christmas vacation in Australia with her dad and his new family, and she hopes beyond hope that she can convince him to come back to the United States with her.

But as Annabel realizes how much happier her dad is in Australia, she has to reconcile her jealousy of his new family with her desire to be a part of it. Can she share her father with them without losing him entirely?

Annabel's account of her stay in Australia is funny yet tender, and is certain to ring true to anyone with a family that isn't quite traditional. Rachel Cohn, whose perfect grasp of teens' feelings came through so strongly in Gingerbread, now proves that she understands preteens just as well.

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About the Author:

Rachel Cohn is the bestselling author of You Know Where to Find Me, Gingerbread, Shrimp, Cupcake, Pop Princess, and, with David Levithan, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, as well as the tween novels The Steps and Two Steps Forward. Born in Washington, D.C., she graduated from Barnard College in New York and has lived on both coasts. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.rachelcohn.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

If you think it's hard keeping track of all the Steps in my life, try being me.

The Steps are the bazillion stepbrothers, stepsisters, and half siblings my parents keep laying on me. Follow this.

First, there are Angelina and Jack, my parents. I've called my parents by their first names for as long as I can remember. Maybe if they were normal parents who stayed together (or even bothered to get married), or maybe if they had regular day jobs, I would call them Mom and Dad, but that would be, like, so Brady Bunch, and we are so not Brady. Besides, Angelina and Jack were the ones who taught me to call them by their first names. Angelina said Mom was "too uptight a word" for her to hear, and Jack said being called Dad made him feel like an "old coot."

Angelina's an actress and Jack was a comedian. They met when they were both waiters at a hip restaurant in Manhattan. They were "young, dumb, 'n' in love," according to Bubbe, my grandma. They moved in together and had me. I'm Annabel Whoopi Schubert and I'm twelve years old, but I'm "going on thirteen with a vengeance," as Bubbe says.

After Angelina and Jack finished being "young, dumb, 'n' in love," they became yelling and fighting adult folks. After a couple really bad years being miserable all the time, they split up when I was nine.

Then Jack met Penny and moved to Australia to be with her. Penny has a daughter, Lucy, who is the same age as me, and a son, Angus, who's in kindergarten. They call it "kindie" in Australia. Jack thinks it's clever that those people in Australia are always cutting off words and adding ie to them, like noodies for noodles and brekkie for breakfast. I don't think it's clever. I think it's lazy. My baby half sister, Beatrice, who is the daughter of Jack and Penny and also the half sister of Lucy and Angus, will end up talking like that one day. Imagine that, my own blood sister, and she's going to speak with an Australian accent and cut off her words and end them in ie. Please.

Back to Angelina, my mom, who got way too into her role as PTA treasurer and started dating the president of the PTA, Harvey Weideman. Harvey is the divorced father of Wheaties, only the dorkiest kid in the whole seventh grade. I don't even remember Wheaties' real name. That's what we call him at our school, the Progress School on the Upper West Side. Wheaties is short and scrawny and goes around singing folk songs. He's the last boy you'd ever see on a cereal box. Now Angelina's pregnant, and she and Harvey are getting married, so I'm going to have another half sibling and another step. I wonder if I will be the first girl in the world with a stepbrother called Wheaties.

The other step is Lucy and Angus's former stepbrother, Ben. He's not my step technically, so I think it's okay that I kissed him once.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to Christmas break.

It all started because Lucy stole my dad.

Copyright © 2003 by Rachel Cohn

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