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Fiction Ages 11-14
Pages: 144
Themes: competition, excellence, ballet, friendship, cliques, honesty, fitting in
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2013
Fry Reading Level: 4.5
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When Cassie comes to Vancouver from Australia for an intensive summer program at a prestigious ballet school, she finds it hard to fit in. A clique of girls who have been at the school a long time don't want the newcomers to get any attention. At first Cassie tries to go along to get along, but when she realizes that some of the visiting summer students are being bullied and threatened, and that she herself is being sabotaged, she finally speaks out—and finds out how far some girls will go to succeed.

5minutesforbooks.com - December 23, 2013
"The relationships felt true in this book...Any child involved in a competitive sport will relate to the way these girls pursue their passion."
Resource Links - October 1, 2013
"Shows the challenges teens have when involved in any extra-curricular activity at the highest level."
CM Magazine - September 13, 2013
"Ballet dancers will likely be familiar with the dance terms used in this story and be able to empathize with the main character’s problems."
Canadian Children's Book News - September 1, 2013
"Stevenson creates an authentic picture of what it is like for young dancers participating in ballet programs...The girls combat bullying, homesickness, and multiple physical and emotional challenges, all of which are realistically and compellingly portrayed. The novel is engaging and rich with detail about the competitive world of aspiring dancers, and readers who are dancers, or who have an interest in dance, will appreciate this fascinating behind the-scenes look at ballet...This innovative series offers something for all kinds of readers whether they are directly involved in the performing arts or not. They are short, fast-paced and well executed—stories perfect for fans of performing arts-focused television shows such as Glee."

Awards

CCBC Best Books  | 2014 | Commended

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