DANCING IN RED SHOES WILL KILL YOU by Dorian Cirrone

DANCING IN RED SHOES WILL KILL YOU

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In the ballet world, size DD means you have “problem breasts.” When Kayla tries out for Cinderella at Florida Arts High School (a.k.a. Farts), her dance teacher suggests breast-reduction surgery if she wants a career in ballet. Kayla’s nonconformist sister, Paterson, points out the similarities between her situation and earlier versions of Cinderella in which the stepsisters cut off their toes in order to conform. When mysterious red pointed shoes appear with the message “dancing in red shoes will kill you,” more connections are made to the 1948 film, The Red Shoes, based on another fairy tale, and the feminist poem, “The Red Shirt,” by Margaret Atwood. These incidents inspire Paterson’s senior project: a painting featuring female figures with various amputations—toes, tongue, foot—the centerpiece being a young man with a circumcised penis. Throw in a protest (The Pen-Is Mightier Than Censorship) when the project is banned, a love interest who understands feminism, a rival saboteur, a gay best friend, more pop culture references, refreshing humor and dialogue, and a protagonist who finds self-acceptance in a judgmental society, and this will find a ready audience. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-055701-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2005




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