France, 1346. It’s been seven years since thirteen-year-old Karima’s father left to claim his inheritance in his childhood home of Ankara. Without him, Karima and her mother have struggled to survive on their poor farm in southern France.Not knowing if her father is alive or dead, the strong-willed Karima goes against her mother’s wishes and sets off for the seaport at Marseille, determined to travel to Ankara and find her father. In Marseille, she meets two orphans, young Clarisse and her brother Gilles, an accomplished thief, who accompany her onboard a ship bound for Byzantium. Yet the Mediterranean world is a dangerous place, and the intrepid trio must tread carefully. They tangle with pirates; join a caravan on the Silk Road beset by sandstorms and bandits; and fight hunger, loneliness, and religious persecution. But they are about to face the most dreaded peril of all: the Black Death. Will Karima survive and find her father, or is her fate sealed in this treacherous foreign land?Rich in historic detail, Hidden in the Next Step is a moving tale of one girl’s courage and strength against impossible odds.