Fauquier County Public Library

Reading Riot: Not-So-Sweet Ballet Books For Young Adults

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One of my guilty pleasures is the reality show Dancing with the Stars. While I have two left feet, I still enjoy watching the pros teach novice celebrity dancers to rumba, foxtrot, salsa and cha-cha. They all look so happy and confident but I wonder if it’s all roses behind the scenes? Whether you celebrate National Dance Week with a hip hop or a two-step, you can kick it with these books that feature the scheming, struggling world of ballet dancers.

Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longoup to this pointe cover ballet dancer in ice landscape

Ballet dancing and Antarctica are unusual combinations but in this case, it works. When Harper’s dream of becoming a professional dancer falls through, her life takes an extreme turn – she finagles her way onto an icy, dark science station in Antarctica. Not completely unusual since she happens to be related to an explorer who died racing to the South Pole and somehow fitting as she always seems to be dancing on thin ice. Even if you’re not into ballet (or penguins) you will appreciate this girl’s journey.

Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Kiem

Lana is a dancer with Russia’s famous Bolshoi Company when her friend and chief rival is brutally attacked on the eve of a New York City tour. Though she is given the coveted solo, that stroke of luck makes Lana the prime suspect in the attack. Sprinkled throughout with bits of Russian history, language and culture, the book captures present-day Moscow and the intrigue of the highly competitive ballet company.

Panic by Sharon M. Draper

As rehearsals begin for the ballet version of Peter Pan, the teenaged members of an Ohio dance troupe lose their focus when one of their own goes missing.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Four years after Theo’s best friend disappeared he is found and brought home. Theo puts her safety at risk as she decides whether to tell the truth about the abductor, knowing her revelation could end her life-long dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. A gritty and heartbreaking story that covers everything from abduction to eating disorders. You’ll be white-knuckled as the truth is revealed page by page to the bitter end.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Hannah Ward revels in the competition, intense rehearsals, and dazzling performances that come with being a member of Manhattan Ballet Company’s corps de ballet, but after meeting a handsome musician she begins to realize there could be more to her life.

These and many other books are on display at your nearest library branch.

∼ Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Bealeton branch library

Want to stay informed about books, websites and events for teens and young adult readers? Check out more from Reading Riot.

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