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*****= An all-time favorite
***Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You
by Dorian Cirrone
Reviewed March 29, 2005.
HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 2005. 213 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J MCN F CIR).
Here’s a fun novel that reads like entertainment, but ends up having a good message thrown in as well.
Kayla Callaway is a junior in high school. She’s been working hard at her ballet, and this year she hopes to win the lead part in the school’s production of Cinderella. She knows that she danced her best in the audition, but learns that she lost the part because of a growing problem, or rather two overgrown problems—her breasts. Instead, she gets to play an ugly stepsister.
Kayla wants to be a dancer, but her body is not the traditional shape of a dancer. Her teacher asks if she’s considered breast reduction surgery. Meanwhile, someone has fastened a pair of pointe shoes to the wall, painted blood-red, with the note, “Dancing in red shoes will kill you.” Is it a death threat? The whole school’s in an uproar, especially when Cinderella’s step-family ends up being scheduled to dance in red shoes.
As if that weren’t enough, Kayla’s sister’s art project—about how women’s bodies are expected to meet men’s expectations, but men are under no such constraints—is declared obscene. A cute guy who’s new at school helps organize a protest.
All these themes come together in a funny book about what we’re willing to do to meet other people’s expectations.
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All