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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Randi’s Steps by Frances Judge is a coming of age story for young teenagers and children set in the early '80s. Randi's Steps follows the lives and friendship of two school girls named Randi and Francie. Randi is a popular, kind-hearted girl and Francie, although she is Randi’s best friend, struggles with some self-esteem and sometimes jealousy issues because of her friend’s popularity. As time goes by, Randi develops headaches that get more and more frequent and she appears to be getting ill. At first, Francie is annoyed at times and feels that her friend is just making excuses. However, Randi is diagnosed with cancer and Francie finds herself caught between wanting to support and be with her best friend and also wanting to hang out with other “normal” healthy girls. What happens as the two girls go through these trials and tribulations that also test their friendship forms the plot of the novel. In addition, Randi's Steps also addresses some important issues like bullying in school and alcoholism and how it can affect and even ruin entire families.
Randi's Steps is a heartwarming tale of school life, adolescence, and friendship. Almost everyone reading this book may be able to identify with some aspects of it and what teenage life can be like. However, there are also serious issues that are addressed in the telling of this story which I appreciated. Bullying in particular, and taunting and social isolation during school life are important social issues highlighted in this story. There is a Christian theme underlying this story that may not be obvious from just looking at the synopsis or the cover page. Although this a story about a young girl’s path toward maturity and adulthood, it may be suitable reading for people of all ages.