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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Our feet slip into satin shoes with stiff shanks, hard boxing, tight elastic, and slippery ribbons that wrap and end in hard knots. The frayed edges are crammed out of sight. We stand. A row of bound feet rises to its toes. For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed -- all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close. But what if the dream doesn't come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many won't make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size -- everything will influence the outcome. Clare's grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if…

On Pointe

by Lori Ann Grover

Overall Book Review:

Some young adult books inspire by showing a teen succeeding against great odds; this book isn’t one of them. Instead, this book, written in free verse, deals with what happens when a dream doesn’t come true, when circumstances intervene.

Clare loves ballet, but she grown four inches in the last year. How will she deal with failing to get into City Ballet? And how will her parents and grandpa cope with her failure?  The book also explores Clare’s response to her grandpa’s sudden health problems.

Not every girl who dreams of being a ballerina will succeed, not matter how hard she works at it. This book is for each of them and for all the other girls who dream of something that’s unattainable. It’s also a book about a teen learning what her life’s dream is in relation to her parents’ dreams for her.

Because the book is written in free verse, it’s a very quick read; the question of whether Clare will make it into the corps draws the reader into the story. It will appeal most to girls who are interested in ballet.

Reading Level: 3.4, range 1.3-5.7.

Of interest to girls.

This review has been acquired and adapted from

Content Analysis:

This review was acquired from on May 15, 2014 and was not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist.  Nevertheless, it contains useful content information which is included here.  The overall number ratings have been approximated based on this information.

One of the dancers walks across the changing room naked—not sexual, not graphic.

Mature Subject Matter:

Bulimia, Illness

Alcohol / Drug Use:


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About the Reviewer

On May 15, 2014 Compass Book Ratings acquired Many reviews were acquired from and these reviews were not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist. Nevertheless, the reviews contain useful content information which is included.