Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You

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9780060557027: Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You

I hadn't really thought of my breasts as "problem breasts." It made them sound like children who wouldn't behave. No bra was going to keep these babies a secret. And those tips for the full-figured girl in the magazines? Please. Even NASA couldn't design a tank suit to camouflage my proportions.

Kayla Callaway has been studying ballet since she learned to walk, and her heart is set on a future in the dance world. She's sure she'll get a solo part in Cinderella, the spring ballet at her high school.

But when the parts are finally posted, Kayla is shocked that she's only landed a role as a stepsister –– and an ugly one, at that! The brutal truth: Ballet and big boobs don't mix. Suddenly Kayla's dream for the future has become a real-life fractured fairy tale.

To make matters worse, bloodred pointe shoes with threatening messages start popping up all over school. When Kayla learns that she'll be wearing red pointe shoes in the ballet, she wonders if the messages are meant for her. But who are they from? And more important -- what do they mean?

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About the Author:

Dorian Cirrone is the author of dancing in red shoes will kill you. She lives in south Florida with her husband and her two children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10 - Kayla, a talented ballet dancer, is a junior at Florida Arts High School (aka "Farts"). She's the sort of funny, generous person anyone would love to have for a best friend. But she has a big problem that is limiting the roles she is chosen for in school productions - her breasts are so large that they interfere with the visual composition of the performances. After Cinderellatryouts, when Kayla is selected to play one of the ugly stepsisters instead of the coveted starring role, a dance teacher gently takes her aside to commiserate and suggests that she consider breast-reduction surgery. The teen is appalled, and her feminist sister, Paterson, is even more offended. Almost immediately, the students polarize into two camps: those who would "Save the Hooters" (boys) vs. those who would "Reduce the Rack" (mainly girls). The appearance in the locker room of red ballet shoes with a death threat ("Dancing in red shoes will kill you," from a Margaret Atwood poem) initially energizes Kayla into sleuthing, and she discovers that the line was meant to be an artistic statement about society's negative messages to girls and women. A subplot involving Paterson's controversial senior art project is better developed and more integral to the novel than the mystery of the shoes. It's a shame that a predictable ending, in which Kayla realizes that she does not want to force herself into conventional roles, mars this appealing story. Nonetheless, Cirrone is an author to watch, and libraries with healthy budgets should consider this title. - Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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