UP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Six months in an isolated Antarctic research station give Harper, a recent high school graduate, time to reflect and heal after the painful end of her ballet aspirations.

Withdrawn Harper Scott arrives at the McMurdo Station, having pulled strings because of her family relationship to the famous Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott. Her tale of loss slowly unfolds through flashback chapters describing her life back home in San Francisco. Although Harper and her best friend have dedicated their entire lives to becoming professional ballerinas, recent events have forced Harper to accept that her body is fundamentally unsuited for professional ballet—regardless of her incredible passion and willingness to make sacrifices. While many readers will make early, accurate predictions about the death of Harper’s career, rather than spoiling the big reveal, this foreknowledge makes witnessing Harper’s denial of obvious warning signs incredibly painful. But, ultimately, given time to collect herself in a land where just surviving is challenging, and with the sage advice of another Antarctic explorer—Ernest Shackleton—Harper eventually charts a course toward a future that will honor her love of ballet and her talents for teaching young dancers (and might even leave room for a sensitive boyfriend).

A moving love letter to dance, dreams, and San Francisco, and a look at how embracing personal passion leads to fulfillment (even if it wasn’t part of the plan). (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-553-53767-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2015


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