In this companion to Meet the Musicians (2006), Nathan offers a chatty and informative look at 16 dancers, their childhoods, their training and their professional lives. Sidebars offer quick tips on taking class, summer activities, typical days and performance pointers. There’s also an entertaining “Sugar Plum Sightings,” revealing where each performed The Nutcracker and in what roles. The range of dance styles, from classical ballet to modern dance to Broadway, gives this a wide appeal, as does the pleasing diversity of the 16 men and women. Readers drawn to dancing won’t necessarily pore over the black-and-white photographs, but they will find value in reading about the winning combination of childhood and adult determination, hard work, perseverance, family support and help from teachers. Brief bios at the beginning of each chapter provide appealing personal tidbits. Recommended for those interested in the lives of dancers or a career in dance. (glossary, resources, index) (Collective biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8071-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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Any account of this Scottish navigator’s adventurous career would make absorbing reading; Kraske adds unusual dimension by enlarging on the historical record with credible insights into his character as well. Sent off alone, with minimal supplies, to an uninhabited island far from the Chilean coast after a clash with his ship’s captain, Selkirk learned survival skills through trial and error as he slowly adapted to the total lack of human company. Rescued more than four years later, he went on to become a successful privateer, and even a celebrity. However, too changed by his long isolation to fit back into human society, he ultimately enlisted in the Royal Navy, and died at 41 of a tropical disease. Kraske concludes with sketches of Daniel Defoe’s tumultuous life and the genesis of Robinson Crusoe, plus a visit to Selkirk’s island today and a research note. Enhanced by a map and by Parker’s offhand, full-page portraits at the chapter heads, it all makes a grand, poignant tale. (bibliography) (Biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-56843-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2005

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A mediocre story about a fascinating and largely unexplored location, this may have appeal for avid sailors but not many...


Two young cousins take a job transporting a sailboat from Nova Scotia to Bermuda but discover that their passage has been used to transport equipment needed to retrieve sunken treasure.

Thirteen-year-old Will and 17-year-old Harley are forced at gunpoint to investigate a sunken Civil War blockade runner. But the chest they retrieve fails to yield the expected treasure. They manage to escape only to find themselves on the run from dangerous criminals in the employ of one of the wealthiest men in the country. With only their wits and the support of a handful of locals, the white cousins need to implicate the criminals, clear their names, and retrieve the treasure. Copious tidbits about sailing, diving, and local history are interesting, but the volume of detail overwhelms the story, robbing it of energy. The glimpse into the racial tensions that existed in 19th-century Bermuda and the revelation of its economic importance during the Civil War are appealing. But the strength of the story lies in the devoted relationship between Will and Harley, as the lovely island setting and the very real danger are underplayed and the mystery is too vague to be engaging.

A mediocre story about a fascinating and largely unexplored location, this may have appeal for avid sailors but not many others. (Mystery. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77086-479-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: DCB

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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