FRANCES DANCES by Ilene Cooper


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Age Range: 9 - 11
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 An entry in the ``Frances in the Fourth Grade'' series, which begins in a companion volume when the heroine's best friend moves away in Frances Takes a Chance (also 7/3/91). Here, Frances is thrilled that a dancing school is opening; a shy girl who usually toils quietly in the background, she dreams of pirouettes and the lead in Swan Lake. She persuades gregarious new friend Polly to join up with her; in return, Polly makes Frances join the basketball team. However, when Frances's stage debut occurs it's not as a ballerina but as last-minute substitute in a class skit. Since Frances never really does dance, balletomanes may feel cheated; and, though lively, much of this seems like a rehash of familiar elements and stories: ballet, stage fright, divorce (Polly's family), friends at odds (Polly and Frances hate each other's activities). Mixed into all this are subplots about relatives, a class bully, an ill sister, and the town's economic troubles, with no idea explored to a satisfying end. Pleasant enough, but nothing for readers to sink their teeth into. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: July 3rd, 1991
ISBN: 0-679-91111-1
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991


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