Cover image for Falling into place
Falling into place
Greene, Stephanie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
124 pages ; 22 cm
As eleven-year-old Margaret struggles to find a way of coping with the hassles of a new stepfamily, she learns that her Gran is facing similar concerns after moving to a retirement community and becoming a widow.
Reading Level:
560 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.1 3.0 63022.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.2 7 Quiz: 31968 Guided reading level: Q.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



All the good things in Margaret's world are collapsing, one by one, like a row of dominoes. First her dad remarried--plink. Then her grandfather died--plinkplink. Then her grandmother had to sell the house and move into a retirement community--plinkplinkplink. Now Dad's new wife is having a baby, and Margaret is going to visit Gran at Carol Woods. There she learns that Gran is having an even harder time adjusting to change than Margaret herself.

Determined to cheer Gran up, Margaret and her younger cousin, Roy, set out to find her some new friends. Their quest leads them to some of Carolwoods' most colorful characters, and ultimately helps Margaret to ease both Gran's pain and her own. Stephanie Greene, the author of the popular Owen Foote books, introduces an appealing and bold new heroine in this funny novel that handles its serious themes with a light touch.

Author Notes

Stephanie Greene is the author of six books about Owen Foote, as well as Falling into Place and Show and Tell. She lives with her family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. Eleven-year-old Margaret must learn to handle change when her father remarries, her grandparents, Gran and Tad, move to a retirement community, her Dad and his new wife, Wendy, announce they are expecting a baby, and beloved Tad dies. Tad and Gran have been Margaret's best friends since she was born; their house was a safe haven as Margaret's family situation changed. But when Margaret visits Gran after Tad's death, she finds her grandmother has changed. Now once-plucky Gran doesn't seem interested in anything. Luckily, Margaret has inherited Gran's stubborn streak, and she sets out to bring back the beloved Gran she knew and loves so well. Bossy Margaret isn't always likable, but children will sympathize when her new, younger sisters crowd her out in the race to hug Dad, and Wendy moves six-year-old Claire into her room without asking. Her assertiveness is tempered with courage, which comes in handy in dealing with Gran. The happy ending is poignant and satisfying: Margaret gets to name her new baby brother, and she chooses to name him Tad. --Diane Foote

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Margaret, 11, has three younger stepsisters who compete with her for her father's attention and, to make matters worse, a new baby is expected. When relations among the siblings get out of hand, her father suggests that Margaret visit her grandmother. She finds Gran depressed over her husband's death and the difficult transition from living in a quaint home to a retirement community where all the units look alike. She also discovers that her nerdy younger cousin is staying there as well. Things start to turn around for everyone when the cousins plan a party where Gran gets acquainted with her neighbors. In the process, Margaret comes to understand her own family situation better. The themes of coping with the dynamics of newly blended family and the death of a grandparent are aptly resolved by having the characters get involved with helping other people. The reading is easy, and the plot moves along quickly, naturally, and with some humor. The portrayal of the older adults in the retirement community is especially positive.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.