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Ballet Shoes for Anna (Collins Modern Classics)

Collins Modern Classics

By Noel Streatfeild

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Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 30 September 2010
Having lost their parents in an earthquake, Anna and her siblings live with their prim uncle and feeble aunt. Anna lives only to dance - but her uncle forbids her to have anything to do with ballet. How will she survive? For Anna, everything takes second place to her burning desire to dance. Even the earthquake that destroyed her Turkish home has not made her think differently, only now she's stuck in a prim suburban household with an uncle who "doesn't approve" of dancing. What can Anna do? Not only is there no one to give her lessons, but there's no money for them either, and, anyway, dancing's forbidden. Will she ever become the ballerina she longs to be?

About the Author

Noel Streatfeild grew up in a vicarage. Her father eventually became Bishop of Lewes. Noel trained as an actress, and acted for nine years before writing her first book, for adults. She did not write her first (and most famous) children's book until 1936 - Ballet Shoes. Thereafter she wrote more than thirty other children's books, some of which were televised, and all of which were hugely popular. Noel died in 1986.


"This book is a perfect, inspiring pick-me-up, especially to anyone with a dream. It is written with conviction and that classic old-time feel to take you to places you might never have known." - Sunday Express Praise for Noel Streatfeild:"Noel Streatfeild's position in the children's book world is unique. She is endlessly inventive, full of verve and real understanding of the surfaces of childhood. Her stories are rich in documentary interest and entertainment, escapism of a most satisfying sort."TLS "Noel Streatfeild is an author who is a true master of her craft."Illustrated London News "Noel Streatfeild has that happy, skilful knack of turning her characters into real people - something which only really good novelists can do."BBC Children's Hour

EAN: 9780007364084
ISBN: 0007364083
Publisher: HarperCollins
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8 centimetres (0.20 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
J. on
I was disappointed with this book. I thought it would have been more about Anna's struggle to convince her uncle that she should take ballet lessons, but instead it was about two brothers scrounging up money. That was the only thing on the brothers' minds- how to get money for Anna's classes. They had no interests of their own. Gussie started to, towards the end when he joined the school's gang, but even then his primary focus was to get money for classes.

Anna had no personality of her own. She appeared to know that going en pointe at eight was too young, but that was it. Why didn't she want to actually dance- not do repeated exercises? Even center exercises seems to cause her anguish. I felt like telling her- Anna, ballet is dancing. Yes, exercises are vitally important, but each exercise you do is the equivalent to a movement on the stage. That whole aspect of the story puzzled me. And it didn't even seem as though it was because she was bashful or thought her dancing wasn't too good. It just seemed to be that Anna didn't want to dance at all.

This book lacked any kind of character depth, or even basic character motivation. It seemed to be:

1. Get money for Anna.
2. Find a way to get money for Anna.
3. ???
4. Profit! Ballet lessons for Anna.

Not to mention Anna never seemed to be grateful for all the trouble her brothers went through. Like Gussie said, it was one thing after another- ballet lessons, then ballet shoes, then a ballet tunic and finally another ballet teacher. Geez, Anna, give it a rest.

And finally the ending. And that was that.

Thanks for the lack of conclusion, there, Streatfeild.
joy on
Another book dedicated to dancing by Noel Streatfield, ballet shoes for Anna follows the lives of three siblings. The youngest sibling, Anna has a rare talent for ballet which is developed by her grandfather who used to be a ballet teacher. A freak accident kills their parents and grandparents and they are sent to London to live with their uncle and aunt. Unfortunately for the children their uncle does not like children and believes dancing to be foolish and bans Anna from having dancing lessons. The book follows the children in their efforts to get ballet classes for Anna without their uncle knowing. The book is suitable for children who can read fluently and independently and teaches about the relationships between siblings and the importance of putting other peoples needs in front of your own.

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