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Extended Audio Sample A Step toward Falling: A Novel Audiobook, by Cammie McGovern Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cammie McGovern Narrator: Ashley Clements, Amanda Wallace Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9780062395900
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Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference—like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Without evading or sugarcoating difficult topics, McGovern shows that disabled and able aren’t binary states but part of a continuum—a human one.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Belinda is written thoughtfully and respectfully. She has a distinct voice that reflects her cognitive disabilities but without condescension.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “McGovern’s ample experience with special-needs youth is evident, as it allows this unique story to shine from within.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “By including a wide variety of distinct characters, the novel shows that the presence or absence of a disability is just one of many aspects of who a person is.”

    Horn Book

  • “Narrators Amanda Wallace and Ashley Clements team up for this realistic story of ethical dilemmas and what it means to be disabled…Clements channels her inner teen when narrating Emily’s chapters…[and] pParticularly impressive is the respectful manner with which Wallace conveys Belinda’s disabilities, unique voice, and maturing emotions as she learns to trust her instincts and inner strength. This affecting audiobook is a reminder that first impressions can be deceiving. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “McGovern explores dating, disability, activism, and impending adulthood with a bow to Jane Austen…Jane Austen references abound as Emily’s and Belinda’s alternating viewpoints illustrate how braving the uncertainty of relationships, expectations, and life after high school transcends class or ability.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author

Cammie McGovern is the author of the adult novels Neighborhood Watch, Eye Contact, and The Art of Seeing as well as of young adult novels, beginning with Say What You Will. She is one of the founders of Whole Children, a resource center that runs after-school classes and programs for children with special needs.