Themes ~ Step By
Coping with new family members for example Pixie understands that her new stepmother is having as much trouble ‘adjusting’ as she is.
The nucleus of moral values, “the family unit,” is being invaded by outsiders (‘step’ or ‘steps’) and this causes disharmony.
Dealing with adversities
Young children and adults may find difficulties dealing with frustrations, fears and sadness.
‘Life has dealt us one hard blow, there is no reason for us to be unhappy for ever’. For example, Claudia realises it is not fair to hate her new stepmother, Stella.
Think long enough before making a decision
Richard Harwick made a rash decision to run away and that had changed the lives of his stepfather, mother and sister.
Resentful step-siblings cause burden and hostility in a home.
Coping with change
All pain eventually heals and that we have the power to change things for the better.
Characters like Claudia and Pixie are brave as they confess to their own rotten behaviour.
Dealing with Separation and Divorce
It deals with a social phenomenon that many people are experiencing, the idea of a divorce as somehow horrible. Separation and divorce, and the events leading up to them, interrupts the stability and predictability that children need.
STEP BY WICKED STEP
Synopsis By Chapter ~ Step By Wicked Step
Chapter 1- Chapter 7
Step By Wicked Step - Chapter 1
It is raining. Mr. Plumley and five pupil from Stagfire School are going to a haunted house in a minibus. Ralpha, Claudia, Robbo, Collin and Pixie have been picked out by Miss O’Dell and herded into the minibus with Mr. Plumley. When they reach Creepsville, they think it is haunted. The last group tells tales of strange shadows and footsteps and eerie figures in white gown melting through the walls.
There are no lights and Mr. Plumley is horrified to settle the pupils in pitch dark. They go upstairs as they pass by oil painted portraits of Harwicks of all ages staring at them. As it is a rainy night, Pixie preferred safety in numbers. They have a rule “each bedroom is for either girls or boys.” Mr. Plumley does not know the rule. He tells the pupils to settle in while he goes to look for the housekeeper.
Robbo decides to explore two or three more stairs. He finds two more beds and a bathroom. The boys take the present room meanwhile Claudia and Pixie take the other. Colin points at the wall. He insists there is a door on the wall. When there is lightning, all of them see the wall papered door meeting the wall papered wall.
As they enter the room, cobwebs indicate no one has been there. A tower off a tower. The shelf, desk and chair are filled with dust. Claudia sees a wooden cow balancing on three legs. She strokes its nose. Suddenly, she hears a soft sound behind her. Robbo sets a globe of the world to spin on its axis.
By looking around, they came to a conclusion that the last child who slept in it came from a rich family. They find out it is a boy’s room. Claudia notices a dusty green album in spidery writing on the cover. Richard Clayton Harwick – My Story. Read and Weep.
They hear the faint rumble of the bus. The other children have arrived. The 5 children rush to their rooms and pretend to be fast asleep. They do not want to miss the chance to read the album. Not many get a chance to peep into someone else’s life and not many people are brave enough to tell you their story.
By the time Miss O’Dell and Mr. Plumley come to the first tower room, they think that the children are fast asleep due to tiredness. Miss O’Dell continues to say that the five children have something in common.
Mr. Plumley is puzzled as nothing seemed to be common in the five. Pixie is a trouble maker. Claudia is sensible. Ralph is quick-witted and hardworking unlike Colin who likes to daydream. Robbo is soccer-mad. As Miss...