BALLET BUG by Christine McDonnell


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11
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Legions of budding ballerinas attend (or perform in) annual productions of The Nutcracker, the traditional holiday production that keeps most US ballet companies financially afloat. Girls who are familiar with the ballet are the target audience for McDonnell’s (It’s a Deal, Dogboy, 1998, etc.) middle-grade novel about a hockey-playing girl named Bea who is bitten by the “ballet bug.” The earnest young dancer advances remarkably quickly in her lessons, presumably because of her hockey skills, and after just a few weeks of ballet classes, she wins a small part in the dance school production of The Nutcracker. Short chapters follow Bea and her two friends through rehearsals and lessons, punctuated with a raft of problems caused by a pair of evil twin sisters out to eliminate the competition. Bea is a likable main character, and there is plenty of inside talk about both the backstage world and the dance school to satisfy young readers bitten by the ballet bug themselves. There are many recent picture books about dance and ballet, but few easy novels about the ballet world, and this readable though unremarkable novel will give little balletomanes something to move on to after Rachel Isadora’s picture books and before Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-03508-4
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001


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