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Author: Draper, Sharon M.
As rehearsals begin for the ballet version of Peter Pan, the teenaged members of an Ohio dance troupe lose their focus when one of their own goes missing.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 159214
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 59240
Common Core Standards
Grade 8 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/13)
School Library Journal (05/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2013 After teenage Diamond makes a disastrously foolish mistake, she is abducted and finds herself in terrible danger. Will she survive? Will her life ever be the same? Told from multiple points of view, Panic is not only Diamond’s story but also that of three of her friends, all of them students at the Crystal Pointe Dance Academy. Mercedes is Diamond’s best friend, who, wracked by guilt, blames herself for her friend’s abduction. Layla, given to bouts of self-loathing, is trapped in a physically abusive relationship with a boy whom she thinks she loves. And Justin, the only boy in the dance class, is secretly in love with Layla. Although much of her material will be familiar to YA readers, Draper does a good job of balancing and integrating her multiple plotlines. Especially good are the subtle parallels she draws between Diamond and Layla, both of whom are, in their respective ways, trapped and victims of the worst aspects of the Internet. Draper’s many fans will welcome this latest addition to her growing body of work. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2013 Diamond and her friends love dancing at Crystal Pointe Dance Academy. They all still dream of fame in the larger world, however, so when Diamond meets a man who claims to have a daughter her age and connections to some big stars that he’s casting for a movie, she abandons common sense and goes with him to an “audition,” which turns out to be an internet porn operation. He keeps Diamond locked up and drugged for six days while her family and friends fear for her. Her drugged state allows for the multiple rapes she endures to be only hinted at and affords her a mechanism of oblivion when she eventually escapes that makes the aftermath less traumatizing. Meanwhile Layla, another girl at the studio, is struggling with her own abusive situation as her boyfriend, Donovan, gets more and more aggressive, and her public humiliation enables her to be sympathetic to Diamond’s exposure. Draper employs her signature format here of focalizing through an ensemble cast of African-American teens coping with the multiple facets of their own lives while being involved in a single larger issue. Each character is given a distinct set of family circumstances and personality traits to ensure multiple access points for reader identification, and their choices, while not always wise or comfortable, certainly have credibility. What’s particularly interesting here is where she takes the aftermath of her protagonists’ traumas: there’s no blaming or moralizing, just a sympathetic acknowledgment of the need to move forward from bad circumstances, a supportive point that will ring truer to readers than more didactic approaches. The emotional ranges of the characters are likewise readily recognizable for teens: Draper doesn’t go too deep or rely on metaphor or complex psychology to establish motivation, and this straightforward treatment, along with the pacing and subject matter, will make this attractive even for older teens who enjoy drama but don’t necessarily see themselves as enthusiastic readers. KC - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/20/2013 Gr 9 Up—Draper has created a nurturing setting for her characters in the Crystal Pointe Dance Academy where students have been dancing and working together for years. Miss Ginger, their instructor, provides support and challenge in endeavors like the spring showcase or the upcoming production of Peter Pan. Diamond, 15, is swept off her feet by a stranger's promise of an audition for a movie when he finds her alone at the mall. Her BFF, Mercedes, gets a cryptic text before they are to meet at the food court to go to the academy for a performance. Through drugs and restraints, villainous Thane and his henchmen cameramen, as well as other paying participants, abuse Diamond as the unwilling star in Internet pornography for days. Meanwhile, with only intermittent plot coverage of Diamond's ordeal, the dance academy and school hold vigils and worry about their classmate. Most chapters actually deal with Layla: she doesn't acknowledge fellow dancer Justin's crush because she is more concerned about boyfriend, Donny, who gets dangerous and abuses her when he feels jealous or insecure. Layla suffers from some bad judgment, a mostly absentee mother, and the challenge of her father being released after six years in prison. This realistic novel takes on too many characters and plotlines, and the scattershot approach may leave readers less engaged and invested. Dance enthusiasts should enjoy the depictions of costumes, jitters, daunting roles, and therapeutic workouts. However, multiple issues-bullying, kidnapping, sexual enslavement by a predator-pedophile, abusive teen relationships, and sexting-result in hot-button overload.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.