Reading Riot: Suspenseful Stories Set in Competitive World of Ballet
During the Christmas season many people enjoy seeing the Nutcracker ballet, the magical story of a little girl who helps break the spell on her wooden nutcracker and transforms him into a handsome prince. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a ballerina or even just like reading about dancers, check out one of these novels over the holidays. Found in the young adult department, these suspenseful stories depict the world of dance in a very different light – it can be competitive and even downright deadly.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet academy compete for the status of prima ballerina, with each willing to sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Four years after Theo’s best friend, Donovan, disappeared at age thirteen, he is found and brought home. Theo puts her health 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.
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Hannah Ward, 19, 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 handsome musician Jacob, she begins to realize there could be more to her life.
Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Kiem
When her friend and chief rival in the Bolshoi Ballet is brutally attacked on the eve of a New York City tour, teenaged Lana Dukovskaya is given her coveted solo–an unlikely stroke of luck that makes Lana the chief suspect in the attack.
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Orianna and Violet are ballet dancers and best friends, but when the ballerinas who have been harassing Violet are murdered, Orianna is accused of the crime and sent to a juvenile detention center. There she meets Amber and they experience supernatural events linking the girls together.
Here’s a real-life ballerina’s success story. Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina chronicles the life of Michaela DePrince who lived the first few years of her life in war-torn Sierra Leone until she was adopted by an American Family. At age 17 she became one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States.
I wish you a happy holiday with sugarplums dancing in your head!
∼ Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Bealeton branch library
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