Step By Wicked Step

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

In Brief: Making the best of divorced family situations.

Cover of Step By Wicked Step

Author: Anne Fine

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

Published in: 1995

Age Range: Young Teens

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  Growing-Up


Five children are waiting in an old house for the rest of their school group to arrive. They come across an old manuscript written by a boy who ran away when his mother remarried after his father's death. This spurs them on to tell a story each about their separated families.


Well, the general background is that of divorced and/or remarried families, for the most part evincing a positive spirit on the part of the children towards their quite different situations: dealing with step-siblings, going “home” to a different house each day or each week, living in the hope of your real Dad turning up and so on. Very positive, and making the best of a difficult situation; it's just such a shame that the situation should be taken so much for granted.

He laid down his sandwich and started to count on his fingers. “I have two brothers, two half-brothers, one half-sister, three stepbrothers, one stepsister, three stepmothres — that's two old ones and one at the moment — one stepfather, two stepgrannies and one stepgrandpa that I know, and some more that I don't know. And, any day now, when Flora has her baby, I'm going to have another half-sister.” He paused, looking puzzled, as if he'd surprised himself by ending up on the wrong finger. “Oh, yes!” he said. “And I have a mum and dad.”

Tuesday 1st January 2002