To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
Author: Rubin, Sarah
In South Carolina in 1959 Casey dreams of being a ballerina, & though she has never had the money for lessons, she follows her dream to New York City & the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 152927
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 58522
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/12)
School Library Journal (00/09/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 Dancing is everything to Casey; even though she can’t afford ballet lessons (her mother brings in the family’s only income since Casey’s father’s death in the Korean War), she picks up what information she can from listening outside the ballet studio. When there’s the possibility of an audition with the New York City Ballet, she even takes the bus north to try out; while she doesn’t get in, the NYCB sends her to Martha Graham’s famous dance troupe, where Casey gains a scholarship and begins to live the dancer’s life she’d always dreamed of. This has the innocence and implausibility of classic making-it-big tales such as the movie Stage Door, including life in the boardinghouse and friendship and enmity with other young aspirants, and Rubin’s writing style is fresh and appealing. It’s a nice touch that Casey ends up with a modern dance troupe rather than the more conventional ballet (which really would have been a stretch too far), and the details of the Graham company, which is dealing with the aging artisan’s refusal to acknowledge her decreasing physical abilities, are vivid and enjoyable. Casey’s character, however, is sometimes so self-absorbed as to be unsympathetic, requiring endless indulgent and largely unearned forgiveness from friends and family; the book also overdoes its rags-to-riches (or at least stardom) fantasy, giving Casey amazing luck where obstacles would have been more interesting (for instance, Casey ends up with a hugely important role in her very first performance soon after joining the company). The period setting may allow some padding on the sharp edges of disbelief, and youngsters yearning for their own leap out of obscurity into the limelight will vicariously thrill to Casey’s meteoric rise. DS - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.