Review Blog

Jul 08 2015

Silver Shoes series by Samantha-Ellen Bound

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Random House, 2015.
Dance Till you Drop. ISBN 9780857983725
Breaking Pointe. ISBN 9780857983749
Silver Shoes Dance Studio is a dance academy where 10 year-old Eleanor Irvin and her friends go three or four times a week to learn to dance. Jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, ballroom, lyrical - whatever the style it's on offer and each girl has her favourite genre. In the first two titles in this series - And All that Jazz and Hit the Streets - the focus was Eleanor and her love for jazz ballet and then Ashley and her desire to excel at hip-hop. The latest two additions to this popular series focus on ballroom dancing and ballet.
In Dance Till You Drop Paige struggles with trying to meet her mother's expectations that she will be the best dancer ever and pushing her into extra classes and her body and head telling her she needs to take a break. It's not till she doesn't turn up at class and her friends find her hiding that things come to a head, particularly when Ellie asks her 'What's more important? Your mum being a bit upset when you tell her or you being like a zombie all the time and running away from class?' It takes a while but her love to dance is questioned and answered in a story many will see themselves in, in one way or another.
Ballet is the focus of Breaking Pointe and Riley has to make choices between her love of it as well as her love of all sports, including athletics and basketball, especially when she finds she has a clash of commitments. This is another situation familiar to many young people as they try new things to find their passion and begin to understand they can't do everything. This series has proven very popular among the girls at my school who are fascinated with all things dance and it is perfect for moving them on beyond the heavily illustrated early chapter books as they continue their reading journeys towards independence. They are going to be delighted to see these new additions to the series and know that there are two more coming in October!
Barbara Braxton

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