Pirouette by Robyn Bavati

cover image

Penguin Books, 2014. ISBN 9780143569374.
Well recommended for Middle secondary. A fascinating insight into the world of twins, one who loves ballet and wants to dance as a career, the other, a beautifully talented ballet dancer who doesn't want to dance but has a prestigious place at a dance academy. Simone and Hannah were born in Brazil where their parents died in a car crash. Their Mother danced with the Paris Opera and thanks to a caring nurse, who couldn't bear to see them separated over continents swapped one baby and so they were both adopted and sent to Australia. There they lead very different lives and when they finally meet by chance at 'Candance' for a holiday ballet school they agree to swap roles. Complications arise as they both like different boys who find their behaviour unsettling and confusing. The teachers too, observe the differences but stay silent to the girls. The dialogue between the girls is intimate and well- drawn. They send away for their DNA and are delighted to find the positive result. Their individual characters are very different but also very engaging. The final outcome is cleverly contrived and very happily resolved. The final chapter brings the story to a complete conclusion back in Brazil. It's a very engaging novel with family relationships strong and supportive. A delightful book for those who love ballet and developing relationships with boys, family and friends. Ballet terms are used throughout so there is an authenticity about the text.
Sue Nosworthy