Publisher's Note:  

All Kendra wants to do is dance for the Manhattan Dance Company. So when her family's forced to move to California, her dreams of auditioning are shattered. Still determined to dance, Kendra faces social isolation and family pressures in her new home. But when she's diagnosed with a debilitating illness, Kendra must decide which dreams are worth fighting for.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sweetwater Books

The Strength of Ballerinas

by Nancy Lorenz

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Overall Review:  

Nancy Lorenz captured the essence of a teenage girl perfectly in Kendra--the sort of girl who thinks the world revolves around her. Fortunately, the reader gets to see a positive side as well--the kind and thoughtful sister. Kendra's little brother, Petey, was my favorite character: a sweet little autistic boy whom you're hoping can just come out of his shell and thrive. This book addresses a few pretty difficult situations including struggling to help a sibling with disabilities, moving, and dealing with the loss of a parent, to name a few. This novel also reminds us of the somewhat comical, not-so-great things about high school such as bullies and less than ideal school lunches (which you're probably either experiencing and can relate to or it's time to reminisce and be grateful that time has passed). Audiences who will enjoy this book would include teens, dancers (especially ballet), and anyone with a connection to someone with autism.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Few (5) brief incidents including character joking about the "dance of death"; character says she wants to die; story of two men who punch each other; character's feet are bloody from dance shoes; character receives minor cuts on hand.


Sex/Nudity:  Few (8) brief incidents including character jokes by saying, "kiss him for me"; flirting; holding hands; touching hand and face; character jokingly calls male character "twinkle toes".

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a parent.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Teenagers smoking in bathroom; reference to wine country; character compares receiving medicine injection to being like a drug addict; reference to alcoholics (metaphor); vineyard sells grapes to winery; people drinking at opera and dinner; compares feelings to that of a drug addict going through withdrawals.

Reviewed By Jenny
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