ALEX KO by Alex Ko


From Iowa to Broadway, My Billy Elliot Story
Age Range: 9 - 14
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Broadway lights beckoned bright for a boy from Iowa who leapt into the title role of the long-running Billy Elliot.

In his own words, Ko recounts his longtime love of gymnastics and dance. With the support of a loving family, he was able to take part in gymnastics competitions and study ballet. The death of his father was a terrible blow, but Ko used prayer to overcome his sorrow and choreographed a solo dance to honor him. Despite financial difficulties, he found his way to Broadway, where, at 13, he became the first replacement within the original trio of Billys a year into the run. He shared the role with two other boys; it was a difficult one, requiring ballet, singing and acting. The journey was grueling, filled with hours of practice and classes and marked by a serious injury. Readers will gain an insider’s knowledge of a Broadway production and share in the great thrill of Ko’s first Broadway performance. His winning personality, drive and strong faith come through on every page. Kudos to his mother for managing the fine line between good mother and stage mother. Alex is currently studying ballet in New York City with an eye on more star turns in the future. Black-and-white photographs (not seen) illustrate the text.

An enjoyable and fast-paced read for not only star-dreamers, but also the star-stuck. (Memoir. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-223601-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2013


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