Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:29 AM
I too agree that no one is too old for any of Streatfeild's books. Remember that lovely scene in "You've Got Mail" when Meg Ryan's character talks about these books with tears in her eyes?
Here's another suggestion: go to your local bookseller and ask to order "The Random House Book of Dance Stories." The ISBN number is 0-679-88529-3. This is an anthology of ballet and other dance stories by the likes of: Louisa May Alcott, Rudyard Kipling, Noel Streatfield, and Oscar Wilde. This books sells for $9.99, and would make a wonderful holiday stocking stuffer.
Some time ago, I found a wonderful book (in a library sale) by Nada Curcija-Prodanovic called "Ballerina," which has wonderful sketches throughout as well. It was written in 1964 and first published by Oxford University Press -- with the American edition published by Criterion Books, Inc. It depicts life in a ballet school for a young dancer and her realization of becoming a company member. The author worked as a piano teacher at the State Ballet School in Belgrade. Very special to me because one of my dearest teachers was from Belgrade, and my grandparents came from Yugoslavia.
I found a set of Satin Slippers at my local St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop. I have numbers one through 12 (but missing no. 7) which follow the career of a young dancer with a school in San Francisco, named "Leah Stephenson." Anyone familiar with that series?
I never care what age these books are supposed to be for, since I collect children's and young adult fiction for my own pleasure. Re-reading these books and reading them for the first time is highly therapeutic -- a part of us is always a young girl.
Posted 04 October 2003 - 02:24 PM
My favourite young adult ballet book is As the Waltz Was Ending by Emma Macalik Butterworth, but it's out of print and very difficult to get a hold of. It's not exactly a novel-- it's mostly autobiographical and only slightly fictionalized. Amazon.com describes it as:
"An autobiographical account of a young girl whose ballet career with the Vienna State Opera was interrupted by the invasion of the Nazis and who later had to fight for her life during the Russian occupation."
I also loved the Bad News Ballet books, a middle-grade 10-book series published in the late '80s. They're fairly easy to find in used bookstores, and also at least some of them were reissued a few years ago with new covers. Very funny books about a group of 5 misfit ballet students, pushed into taking classes by their mothers. They become friends and eventually get to like ballet. By the husband-and-wife writing team Jahnna N. Malcolm. I think the series was called Scrambled Legs in the UK.
I think I am being called, so I'll finish this later, and maybe I can mention some books that are actually in PRINT!
Posted 05 October 2003 - 03:54 AM
I don't know if anyone mentionned those , which are among my favorite :
the serie about Sadler's Wells (about 8 books) by Lorna Hill and by the same writer 'Dancer in the Wings'
serie 'Ballet School' by Mal Lewis Jones
'The first step' and 'Dancer in the wings' (no mistake) by Jean Richardson
Of course the Drina books and Scrambled Legs and Jean Ure's novels...
I also have some titles of French books if anyone's interested ... :yes:
Posted 06 October 2003 - 06:07 AM
Posted 06 October 2003 - 08:54 AM
It's a beautiful book, a little more substantial than most.
Posted 11 October 2003 - 03:29 PM
More out-of-print titles: Samantha on Stage, by Susan C. Farrar, about 11-year-old Samantha, who was always the best dancer in her class until the new Russian girl, Lizinka, joins. Sam is jealous when Lizinka gets the part of Clara in The Nutcracker, but they become friends. Awww.
The Maggie Adams books by Karen Strickler Dean. I have the first two. I don't really like them much. She wrote some other ballet books, too, but I don't know much about them.
Kate's Turn by Jeanne Betancourt. I read it years ago and just bought a used copy of it and reread it.
Ah, once again I'll continue this later. Must dash.
Posted 12 October 2003 - 07:42 AM
I think this is before Dicy and the other kids arrive, but I haven't read it in a while, definitely connected with the Tillermans as Mina later becomes good friends with Dicy.
I remember loving the Maggie Adams books in jr high, but I suspect they would embarrass me today...
A great book that I only vaguely remember (title may have had the word Joker in it?) is about the rivalry between two "best" girls at a ballet studio. Their teacher takes them to see Pavlova, who gives the non-heroine girl a pair of her pointes.... A really dark and interesting book as I remember it. Anybody here read it?
Posted 14 October 2003 - 10:39 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 11:19 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 12:38 PM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 05:28 PM
No. 9 -- Chance to Love (Leah gets more interested in a guy than ballet)
No. 10 -- Rising Star (Leah gets caught up in dancing in two conflicting performances at the same time)
No. 11 -- Startng Over (Leah gets injured and has to fight her way back to restoring her technique)
No 12 -- Summer Dance (Leah gets into a renewed rivalry with her former nemesis from San Francisco when the two are at an SI in Vermont together)
Posted 15 October 2003 - 09:09 AM
FF - thanks for the "Random House Book of Dance Stories"...I was unaware this was out there. Like most girls/young ladies and women, I love anything Louisa May Alcott wrote. Of course we can't leave out Kipling etc.
Posted 15 October 2003 - 12:22 PM
I can't believe I forgot to mention this one before: On Stage, Please by Veronica Tennant. It's a favourite of mine, and it's in print. It's about a ten-year-old girl named Jennifer and her first term at the National Ballet School. It's hardly surprising that the details of the ballet world, and ballet school world, should ring true, considering its author. As an added bonus, Tennant is a talented writer. Great book.
Although I never read them when I was a kid, I'm now working on acquiring the Satin Slippers books. I've bought three of them so far-- #2, #3, and #6, and I know there are copies of five others in a used bookstore downtown, but I haven't purchased those yet. I haven't read any of them yet-- I've got plenty of reading to do for school, too! :shhh:
Posted 16 October 2003 - 10:30 AM
Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:54 AM
And thank you, Funny Face, for synopses of the Satin Slippers books!
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