Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn

Spoiler Alert! Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn is about sixth-grader Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth. Stepping on the Cracks takes place in the 1940s, which means it’s only been ten years since the great depression and World War 2 is at War. Margaret’s brother Jimmy is in the war with Elizabeth’s brother Joe. ┬áMargaret has Ms. Wagner as her sixth-grade teacher which makes the sixth grade hard. Not only is Ms. Wagner a problem, but so is Gordy, the sixth grade bully, always picking on “Baby Mag Pie” and “Lizard.” Which is what Gordy calls Elizabeth and Margaret. Gordy has two older brothers, three younger brothers, and a little sister June. Donald is at war, and Stuart is supposed to be at war but is hiding in the woods. Hiding from the war is against the law, so Gordy makes sure no one else knows. Eventually, Elizabeth and Margaret find out when they follow Gordy to the woods. They find out Stuart lives in the hut. Margaret and Elizabeth tell Barbra, who also helps take care of Stuart. Barbra’s husband was killed in the war sadly. After Stuart recovers, he goes back home to his family. But, Stuart’s father beats him up from hiding from the war. Stuart has to recover again from being beaten up by his abusive father. Since that happened, Gordy’s family moves. After that, Elizabeth and Maragret relaize that Gordy isn’t that much of a bully anymore.

–L (age 11)

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