Gloria Whelan The Turning

ISBN 13: 9780060755935

The Turning

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9780060755935: The Turning

In the spring of 1991, a Russianballerina dreams of leaving Leningrad -- forever. A member of the Kirov Ballet Corps, Tatiana hopes to be chosen for the troupe's Paris tour. Once there, she will try to escape the watchful eye of KGB agents, defect to France, and leave the complicated politics of the Soviet Union behind.

But like ballet, leaving is harder than it looks. Tatiana becomes entangled in her country's struggle for democracy, and her dream of a better life in Paris is soon challenged by hope for her country's future. Tatiana must make a choice, and there will be no turning back.

This companion novel to National Book Award winner Gloria Whelan's breathtaking epics angel on the square, the impossible journey, and burying the sun offers a riveting portrait of a nation, and a young woman, on the brink of spectacular change.

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About the Author:

Gloria Whelan is the bestselling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award, The Locked Garden, Parade of Shadows, and Listening for Lions. She lives in Michigan near Lake St. Clair.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–In 1991, 17-year-old Tanya is encouraged by Vera, another member of the Kirov Ballet Corps, to defect with her when the company goes on tour to Paris. The teens come from very different backgrounds. Veras family is rich because of her fathers black-market dealings, while Tanyas family has sacrificed a lot to allow her to pursue her career. Vera dreams of escaping the dreariness of the Soviet Union, while her friend thinks of defection as a way to better her career opportunities. Tanyas personal turmoil and worries are mirrored in the political strife around her. Her grandfather has always been politically active, and there is great excitement as the struggle for power goes on between Gorbachev and Yeltsin. The author has successfully woven Russian history and culture into this story. The day-to-day rivalries and jealousies among the dancers at the ballet company are believable enough to hold readers interest. There is also a hint of romance between Tanya and a talented artist who is almost caught up in some illegal art dealings to pay for the medicine his grandmother needs. Tanya is an appealing, thoughtful heroine whose political awareness and integrity will encourage readers to think about the importance of decisions and events in peoples lives.–Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
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