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Home » Books » Children's » Fiction » Family » Orphans & Foster Homes

Dancing Shoes

By Noel Streatfeild

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Published In: United States, 01 April 1994
Aunt Cora is determined to turn two orphans, perky Hilary and sullen Rachel, into members of her dance troupe. But Rachel wants to keep Hilary from being one of Wintle's Little Wonders--is it selfishness or something else? Misunderstandings and a spoiled cousin come together for a tale full of high drama. Originally published in 1957.

About the Author

Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895 and was one of three sisters. Although she was considered the plain one she ended up leading the most glamorous and exciting life! After working in munitions factories and canteens for the armed forces when WWI broke out, Noel followed her dream of being on stage and went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she became a professional actress. She began writing children's books in 1931 and Ballet Shoes was published in 1936. She quickly became one of the most popular authors of her day. When she visited Puffin exhibitions, there were queues right out of the building and all the way down the Mall. She was one of the first winners of the Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983. Noel Streatfeild lived in London. She died in 1986.

EAN: 9780679854289
ISBN: 0679854282
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Dimensions: 19.25 x 13.41 x 1.35 centimetres (0.16 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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Rachel and Hilary go to live at a dancing school on the death of their parents. Hilary is happy because she wants nothing more than to dance and have fun with a troupe of girls. Rachel is devastated. Her mother wanted Hilary to be a star ballerina and Hilary's chances of getting into the Royal Ballet School are slipping away.

Rachel is also devastated because she is like a fish out of water at the dancing school and her spoilt, talented cousin is quite happy to rub her nose in it. However, she unknowingly nurtures her own talent so that one day she unexpectedly comes into her own.

I read and re-read this book as a twelve year old. The "ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan" theme is great encouragement as a proto-teenager and karma is always satisfying. The story is well written and you feel enmeshed in these kds lives. It's set in times that have long gone but it is still a great read.

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