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Out of Step

When Jeremy's father remarries three years after Mom dies, Jeremy is stuck with a stepmother and stepsister that he didn't ask for. His stepmother Kay takes an interest in his life, but Allison, his stepsister, makes him miserable. A superb athlete, she joins Jeremy's soccer team and scores the goals that Jeremy never could. Dad is ecstatic. Instead of spending his free time with Jeremy, he coaches Allison or watches sports events with her on TV. Even Jeremy's little brother begins to ignore him as he becomes attached to Kay. Jeremy's struggle to become recognized by his father makes for a compelling novel about changing family circumstances.

"A well-written novel exploring problems faced by some stepfamilies." - Horn Book
"Auch combines sensitivity with a light touch as she covers the turmoil of family change after bereavement. Jeremy is sympathetic but real in his mixture of grief, jealousy, determination, and ironic humor. Auch's prose is quick and supple, with lively dialogue and concise use of physical details to create a sense of place. Kids who've suffered the loss of a parent will find this book of particular interest, but all young readers will empathize with Jeremy's painful sibling rivalry." -- Booklist