Small Steps (Bloomsbury Educational Editions) ISBN: 9780713678864
Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 2006
Ten year old Ginny, who has cerebral palsy, is not the main character in this book, but she plays a major role. The hero, Armpit (real name Theodore) is a black teenager, who because of some trouble with the law, has spent time in a correctional institution near Austin, Texas, where he now lives with his parents. Ginny and her mother (white) live next door, and she and Armpit have become close friends. Armpit is protective of Ginny and takes her on walks to strengthen her legs. She has a stutter and an out-of-control arm and sometimes has fits. Armpit, who is trying hard to finish high school and is a hard worker, is also friends with a boy known as X-Ray - a bit of a wheeler-dealer, who gets them both in trouble by selling tickets to a big pop concert at many times their value. Armpit and Ginny at the concert meet the pop star, Kaira DeLeon, a young black girl with whom Armpit becomes involved romantically. The pop world is remarkably realistically portrayed, and there is an exciting denoument when Kaira is almost murdered. Ginny figures more in the first half of the novel, but her presence is felt throughout, and her relationship with Armpit is of vital importance. She is a super, believable character in a highly-charged, gripping novel.