Dance divas by Sheryl Berk
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2013. ISBN 9781619631816.
Recommended for Upper Primary girls. A novel for younger readers, mainly girls, centring around an American dance school. There's lots of sparkle, both with the front cover and the glitzy descriptions of the costumes. Miss Toni, a tough no nonsense teacher is the director and the girls vie for leading positions. The action is seen through Scarlett's eyes and she is caring and supportive of her friends, Rochelle and Bria, both who share with the reader thoughts, sometimes unkind and hurtful about Miss Toni and Liberty, who is a talented but egocentric dancer aspiring to be the main star. Scarlett's little sister Gracie, who is annoying in the beginning becomes a star in her own right. Sisterly concern shows through when Gracie gets stage struck and Scarlett supports her.The mothers behave in varying supportive roles.
Themes of friendship, jealousy, kindness, dedicated practice time and team work are strongly evident so besides a good story line which young readers may dream about, there are many interesting relationship issues about getting on with peers.The 'Glossary of Dance Terms' is explanatory. A sequel is following.