The Next Step
The Next Step
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The Next Step

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The “Awkward” Stage Doesn’t Have to Last

Virtually everything about the Middle School experience has the potential to be awkward. The social adjustments, the physical adjustments, the intellectual adjustments – it’s no wonder these three years are often the most challenging for a young teen. But, what happens when the abrupt shift from collective middle school awkwardness to the daunting individuality within high school halls leaves that same disheveled teen caught up in a stupor?

The Next Step is a young Catholic’s guide to navigating the somewhat frustrating but wildly exciting halls of high school. Focusing on keeping Christ at the center of friendships and decisions, The Next Step provides the necessary wisdom and humor to uplift any eighth grader as they approach this new stage of life.

  • The Mission

  • Unique Features

  • About This Author

  • Reviews

  • The Mission

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    The Next Step asks and answers essential questions for any teen approaching the hallowed halls of high school, and encourages teens with humor and grace that they are capable of great things.
  • Unique Features

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    • Nine chapters broken down into three of the most predominant challenges of High School: The “How-to’s for High School” (academics, extra-curricular activities, and social skills), “Relationships,” and “Chastity.” 
    • Relevant and relatable stories from the author that relate directly to each category and provide positive examples for teens. 
    • Bolded inspirational quotes (from saints, Scripture, and scholars) throughout the book that relate directly to each chapter topic. 
    • A balanced, healthy, and positive approach to explaining and guiding a teen through the experience of high school. 
  • About This Author

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    Rachel (Allen) Leininger graduated from Saint Louis University with degrees in Creative Writing and Theology, and serves as the full-time Chastity Educator for The REAP Team, a retreat ministry of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. She spends most of her days talking about faith and chastity with teenagers. Rachel serves as a Core Member at her parish, blogs for Lifeteen.com, loves the St. Louis Cardinals with a passion, and is married to David, the man of her dreams. 
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Who Needs It

Any eighth grader or high school freshman who needs encouragement and would like to grow in their Catholic faith. 

Using This Book

This book is essential for any graduating eighth grader in a variety of capacities:
  • As a small group discipleship resource for eighth or ninth graders
  • As a eighth grade graduation gift
  • Middle school retreat gift for graduating eighth graders