House of Dance (Laura Geringer Books)

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9780061429286: House of Dance (Laura Geringer Books)

Rosie and her mother coexist in the same house as near strangers. Since Rosie's father abandoned them years ago, her mother has accomplished her own disappearing act, spending more time with her boss than with Rosie. Now faced with losing her grandfather too, Rosie begins to visit him every day, traveling across town to his house, where she helps him place the things that matter most to him "In Trust." As Rosie learns her grandfather's story, she discovers the role music and motion have played in it. But like colors, memories fade. When Rosie stumbles into the House of Dance, she finally finds a way to restore the source of her grandfather's greatest joy.

Eloquently told, National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart's House of Dance is a powerful celebration of life and the people we love who make it worthwhile.

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About the Author:

Beth Kephart was nominated for a National Book Award for her memoir A Slant of Sun. Her first novel for teens, Undercover, received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Amazon.com. In 2005 Beth was awarded the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. She has also written Into the Tangle of Friendship: A Memoir of the Things That Matter; Still Love in Strange Places: A Memoir; Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self; Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River; Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business; and House of Dance. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

From Booklist:

As in her debut YA novel Undercover (2007), Kephart offers another quiet, sensitive story about a girl who pulls together her fragmented family. Fifteen-year-old Rosie faces a lonely summer. Her best friend is out of town, her single mother is consumed by an affair with a married man, and Rosie has been charged with daily visits to her grandfather, who is dying of cancer. While sorting through her grandfather’s possessions, Rosie concocts a secret plan that she hopes will “give him back the life he loved.” As part of the scheme, Rosie begins dance instruction at a neighborhood ballroom, and her growing confidence on the dance floor strengthens her sense of self. Kephart’s dialogue sometimes reads with the mannered feel of a stage play; Rosie’s poetic, meditative, first-person voice doesn’t always feel authentic; and her romance with a neighbor is underdeveloped. Still, the piercing emotions and family situations, described with lyrical beauty, will hit home with readers who enjoy gentle, emotional journeys, such as Lynne Rae Perkins’ Newbery Medal–winner Criss Cross (1995). Grades 7-10. --Gillian Engberg

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