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Tag: sophie flack

Ballet Books For Teens

When the idea of writing a post about ballet books for teens came up I literally jumped at the chance. But as I thought about it more, and thought about all the reasons I loved hearing the stories of ballerinas and dancers, I wondered why it also seemed like such a fitting subject for teens to be interested in. After reading many fine ballet books, written for both teens and adults (which we’ll get to in just a second), I came up with the following theories:

1. Ballet is an form of the young. Many dancers begin their training as children, and by the time they become teens, they’re entering professional careers. The single-minded dedication that is required to dance at that level demands the kind of commitment that any teen on a sports team, working to master a musical instrument, or studying for important exams could relate to, and yet…

2. Ballet is somehow less accessible, more mysterious, a closed world that can only be accessed by being a part of it, or reading about it.

3. Ballet is a world of constant paradox: to look effortless on stage, dancers have to endure incredible tests of stamina, strength, pain, and sacrifice. There’s a whole lot of conflict in a a world like that, which makes for great storytelling.

Eager to peer into this secret world of beauty, tradition, grace, and the most hardcore training imaginable? Check out these titles:


Debuts Buzzing at BEA

The last week of May was Book Expo America, which is held at the Javits Center in New York City. This is the annual buzz show for upcoming books, and this is where industry professionals, from booksellers to librarians, learn about the titles that will be making a splash in the fall and winter seasons (and you can read an exciting post by Erin Daly about her experiences at the Expo here at The Hub). One of the things I found most interesting in my week-long trip to the Big Apple was the wealth of debut young adult authors earning big buzz for their forthcoming titles, and I thought I’d put some of these titles on your radar.

Perhaps the biggest buzz book and one that was in high demand was Michelle Hodkin’s The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (September 27, Simon and Schuster, 9781442421762). In this book, we’re thrown into the unclear world of Mara Dyer, who has just awoken in a hospital from an accident that killed her friends and left her unharmed. She doesn’t know how she got to the hospital or why she’s there, and she thinks there was more to the accident than what she’s been told. Moreover, she’s under the belief she’ll never be able to do normal things again, including falling in love. But, she may just be wrong about everything. This book has had little description given for it, as it’s one that the publishers said you have to read to understand. It sounds like a bit of a mystery, combined with a bit of magical realism, and as many other stories, this is the first in what promises to be a much sought-after series. Hodkin, who is a trained lawyer, said she was inspired to write the story during an interview she was conducting with a teen girl seeking legal council, and the story this girl had to tell sparked the idea behind Mara Dyer.

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (October, HarperTeen, 9780062027875) is not only Fallon’s first novel, but it’s also the first book to be published out of Inkpop, a creative writing community for teens hosted by Harper Collins. Something horrible has happened in Megan’s life, and it sets her on a course that’s been predetermined — she has no say in how things play out, and the world is beyond her control. She moves to Ireland and is drawn to small-town Kinsale, where she’s able to begin making friends and trying to put her life together as best she can. Little is she aware though that Adam, a boy to whom she is inexplicably drawn, will bring her into a whole new world — one where she actually belongs. This fantasy sounds like it will go either the urban fantasy route or the paranormal route, and it will likely delight fans of either genre. It is the first in a planned series.