A title unfortunate--for the turnabout relationship between clumsy, chubby nine-year-old Lily and graceful, haughty 14-year-old Saundra, a ballet standout, is dextrously and disarmingly handled, notwithstanding its upper-echelon Manhattan setting. Lily's lawyer dad, a new, roly-poly jogger, decides that Lily too must take ballet lessons--and Saundra is, strangely, as opposed as Lily herself. But as Lily's excruciating self-consciousness gives way to the sheer pleasure of practicing and mastering the steps, she becomes aware of Saundra's unease--and, ultimately, of her fear of losing the one coveted place in the regular company to obnoxious Meredith Meredith, or equally of winning it. Poor vulnerable, beautiful Saundra! With some help from her father, Lily sets out to ""intimidate"" Meredith Meredith--by convincing her that she can't lose, that even she, Lily, thinks her a better dancer than Saundra. We're not there for the climactic contest, but it doesn't matter--""as long as they continued to share their lives, everything was possible, and they could not lose."" The lesson is perhaps too heavily underlined, but the story has wit, bite, and vitality to spare.