One Step (Andrew Daddo, Penguin)
Dylan is an average young guy; his life revolves around school, his family and his burgeoning interest in girls. However, all is not as it seems, and after bearing the brunt of jokes and teasing at school, even his safe haven at home is beginning to fall apart. When Dylan is invited to a party by one of the most popular girls in school, he thinks all of his dreams are about to come true, but no-one is really who they seem and even good friends cannot be trusted. One Step is a gritty, honest rendering of male adolescence, and the brutal portrayal of bullying and its consequences is sometimes uncomfortable to read. In this authentic and touching novel, Andrew Daddo examines some difficult issues in a way that demands acknowledgement and invites discussion. One Step is a valuable educational resource for schools and libraries, as well as a great read for children aged 13 and up. While Daddo is best known for his books for younger readers, he has stepped effortlessly into the YA genre and created a very special story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
Natalie Crawford is a children’s book specialist at Dymocks Claremont