Christine Fletcher Ten Cents a Dance

ISBN 13: 9781599904627

Ten Cents a Dance

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9781599904627: Ten Cents a Dance

With her mother ill, it's up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago's poor Yards is a job in one of the meat-packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer-a girl paid ten cents to dance with any man-and soon becomes an expert in the art of "fishing" as she works her patrons for meals, clothes, even jewelry.
Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.

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About the Author:

Christine Fletcher grew up in California. After receiving her veterinary degree from the University of California, she lived for three years in the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee. She writes, teaches, and practices veterinary medicine in Portland.

From Booklist:

When Ruby replaces her ailing mother in the tough, meatpacking Yards of 1940s Chicago, the feisty teen can’t stand the job’s grimness and poverty wages: I spent eight hours a day stuffing hogs’ feet in jars, and we still ate beans. When handsome bad-boy Paulie urges her to try the Starlight Dance Academy, and get paid to dance with men who show up each night, she can’t resist this far more lucrative prospect. Although her mom believes Ruby has changed jobs to become a nightshift telephone operator, Ruby sashays into the wee hours as a dance-hall girl looking for glamour and adventure. Readers will be riveted by Ruby’s journey as she leaves one desperate existence for another and finds herself drawn deeper into a world that is hard-edged and even dangerous—especially when she begins to let Paulie lead her down a dubious path. Blatant racism, crime, and the swing-era music scene permeate the backdrop of Fletcher’s absorbing wartime novel, which will have readers rooting for its spirited, soul-searching heroine. Grades 9-12. --Anne O'Malley

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