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Any recommendations for ballet-themed novels for an 8 year old?

(31 Posts)
castille Mon 24-Sep-07 12:00:45

Aside from "Ballet Shoes" of course, which she has read.

She is also reading the Royal Ballet School Diaries for the zillionth time, and it's about time she read something else, frankly!

Ideas, anyone?

TheArmadillo Mon 24-Sep-07 12:03:19

Ballet Shoes for Anna, by Noel Streatfield is one I remember reading at about that age. e=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190631738&sr=1-2

trio31 Mon 24-Sep-07 12:37:45

Hello - I was a ballet mad bookworm at this age so I have a few suggestions. Noel Streatfield wrote a few other ballet themed books - Ballet Shoes for Anna was one but I a pretty sure I remember others.

Jean Estoril's Drina books are wonderful - the first one is called ' Ballet for Drina' I think - there was a series of about 7 set in a London ballet school and various exotic locations around the world.

Also well worth seeking out are Lorna Hill's series of books about aspiring ballerinas set in Northumbrian border country. Terribly formulaic but I absolutely loved them! Sadly they are out of print (I think I got into them via my Mum's old copies, then they were reprinted around 1989)but well worth tracking down on ebay or in charity / second hand shops.
Happy reading to your DD !

MintyDixCharrington Mon 24-Sep-07 12:40:38

I love the Lorna Hill books! The first one was A Dream of Sadlers Wells... then there was one called No Castanets at the Wells (!) and a couple in between I can't remember. I must have read them 10,000 times. Also had ponies in it - perfect combo for an 8 year old...

Anna8888 Mon 24-Sep-07 12:43:14

The Gemma series by Noël Streatfield.

RosaLuxembourg Mon 24-Sep-07 12:52:06

A lot of Noel Streatfeild's books are out of print as are the Lorna Hill books and the Drina books (by Jean Estoril) but there are loads of secondhand copies about, well worth searching Abebooks for. Some of the later Drina ones go for £££s on Ebay though. I have picked them all up in charity shops but it takes time and patience.
There is also a series called Louisa by Adele Geras here and Harriet Castor's ballerina series again out of print but cheap to pick up. DD1 particularly liked those.

littleboo Mon 24-Sep-07 12:54:50

The lorna hill's series were fab i remember absolutely loving them as a child, don't know if you get some used ones on amazon?

Anna8888 Mon 24-Sep-07 13:14:23

Out of print books are often available in libraries.

castille Mon 24-Sep-07 20:07:15

Great, they all sound perfect. I wonder why so many of them are out of print? It's her birthday soon, so I look them all up and seeing what I can get hold of.

Many thanks all!

popsycal Mon 24-Sep-07 20:08:31


bookwormtailmum Mon 24-Sep-07 20:10:29

Antonia Barber also writes modern ballet stories - they're quite readable even from an adult perspective .

pooka Mon 24-Sep-07 20:16:03

Blimey. Just did a search on noel streatfeild on Amazon and my goodness it brought back memories. Rather loved thursday's child, and of course, the shoes series. Particularly keen on White Boots - seemed very far removed from Streatham Ice Rink on a Saturday morning.

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 24-Sep-07 20:28:19

She sounds like me when I was about 11... sigh...

Tamum Mon 24-Sep-07 20:33:48

I got lots of Noel Streatfeild and others on Abebooks- they are wonderful

GreebosWhiskers Mon 24-Sep-07 20:49:23

Usborne has a whole series called Ballerina Dreams - just scroll down a little. They're very popular & for about 8+.

LieselVentouse Mon 24-Sep-07 20:52:58

when did this appear? please dont tell me its always been here

TheDuchessOfNorksBride Mon 24-Sep-07 20:56:44

This is in Adult Fiction - what exactly goes on in these ballet books... shock

<duchess feels faints and calls for her smelling salts>

castille Mon 24-Sep-07 21:12:54

oops yes, noticed the category error too late!

Usborne and Antonia Barber books look good too. Thanks!

fuzzywuzzy Mon 24-Sep-07 21:26:13

Do they have to be incredibly serious?? I remember reading ballet themed books as a child, they were called scrambled legs I think, about a group of friends who do ballet....deffo not as highbrow as the other suggestions but funny light reads with a ballet theme

MrsBadger Mon 24-Sep-07 21:34:50

oh yrs, the Scrambled Legs ones were rather good - I read my little sister's. They call the evil cliquey girls Bunheads...

tyaca Thu 27-Sep-07 23:17:14

there is a great anthology called Ballet Stories, ed Harriet Castor, which has chapters from a dozen of the best ballet books.

when my sister, aged 19, was doing a gap year in australia, i sent it to her as an xmas present and, even at that aged age, she was most grateful grin

i nabbed it on her return and it rarely leaves my loo.

it's all kids stories, a couple of which may be a bit old for your daughter, but a great place to start.

epsombooks Thu 09-Oct-08 18:01:27

Hi - Not sure if anyone wants to purchase Usborne Books but I can get them for you. smile Please check on

justagirlfromedgware Thu 09-Oct-08 21:07:48

I second (third?) the Noel Streatfield (I must have read ALL her books - is that a record?) and Lorna Hill recommendations and the good news is that has plenty of options to purchase both at very low prices is an excellent second hand market website that isn't in the thrawl of Amazon, much as I like Amazon wink).

n.b. their Community section is great if you vaguely remember a book, but not its title. I am still amazed at someone guessing from my vague description that I was looking for the brilliant French children's book 'The Mystery of the Cross-Eyed Man'. Nothing to do with ballet by the way, I had eclectic taste as a child grin.

justagirlfromedgware Thu 09-Oct-08 21:11:16

By the way, it's the 'Book Sleuth' section you want for finding a book you cannot remember the details of

Bink Thu 09-Oct-08 21:19:21

Don't you find Noel Streatfeild just a tiny bit odd? - the precision about prescriptive uniform ("all girls aged over eight had to have four tunics, not longer than knee length, two in blue serge and two in an infinitesimally darker shade of blue serge that you'd not have been able to spot the difference unless you had a special gift and so deserved to be at the school. The darker ones were for Wednesday barre practice") and cost ("the children in the Saturday classes had to bring 2/4 with them each fortnight, and if they were doing tap it was an extra 9d").

It all reminds me of an acquaintance who had, you know, a palace job, and the stories he told about the mortification of being found wearing the subtly-wrongly-lapelled dress coat.

Not to be misunderstood, this all is part of the addictive charm (of NS, not the Palace), but don't you think it is curious?

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