Following My Own Footsteps

by Mary Downing Hahn

Gordy's abusive father has been arrested, so as a last resort their mother moves... read more

Gordy's abusive father has been arrested, so as a last resort their mother moves her large family to her mother's home. Gordy is angry at his dad and at the world. He is smart but won't show it in his new school, compassionate but won't help others, and mature beyond his years because he had to leave childhood before he was finished with it. As a matter of fact, Gordy is beginning to show signs of repeating the cycle of abuse he despises in his dad. After several unfortunate incidents he and William, an overprotected polio victim living next door, form an unlikely alliance. One day Gordy's older brother returns from military service refusing to act heroic, and their dad shows up ready to move the family, ready or not. Strong main characters, a good sense of place, and a powerful anti-war theme mark this successful sequel to Stepping on the Cracks published in 1991. Hahn incorporates solid details to establish the year and describe the impact of national events, such as President Roosevelt's death and V-E Day. (Ages 10-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

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