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FIONA FINKELSTEIN, BIG-TIME BALLERINA!! by Bob Raczka

FIONA FINKELSTEIN, BIG-TIME BALLERINA!!

By Bob Raczka (Author) , Angela Martini (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7927-2
Publisher: Aladdin

Fiona may live in Ordinary, Md., but her resemblance to her town’s name ends there. Fiona’s father is the local weather forecaster, and her soap-opera–star mother lives in California and communicates through occasional phone calls. Fiona loves ballet but suffers from nerves. After she throws up on stage, the meanies in her class rename her Vomitstein. But it is December and what must local ballet schools do but provide dancing angels for the big-city production of The Nutcracker? Fiona perseveres, and there’s even an opportunity for her to demonstrate quick thinking and balletic technique when a snowstorm threatens her father’s job at the local news station. Stout gives her heroine’s story an abundance of gentle humor and friendship, abetted by Martini’s spot illustrations. She also demonstrates a dab hand at naming; in addition to her hometown’s unevocative label, Fiona’s teacher is named Mr. Bland and one of her tormentors, the Three Bees, bears the hugely inappropriate moniker of Benevolence. Middle-grade girls who dream of dancing on stage in sparkling costumes will happily embrace Fiona and her adventures. (Fiction. 7-10)