Little Book,  Middle grade

Ballet Shoes

Noel Streatfeild
Pauline, Petrova and Posy are found as orphaned babies in different parts of the world by eccentric fossil collector and explorer Gum. He adopts them, takes them to his London home and leaves them in the care of his niece Sylvia and the family Nurse. Then off he goes to continue his exploring, saying that he’ll be back in five years’ time. When the three little girls are old enough, they choose the surname Fossil for themselves and vow to make the name famous. At first they lead privileged and sheltered lives. But when Gum fails to return after five years, Sylvia’s money begins to run out. First she is forced to take in some boarders – an engaging and eclectic mix of characters – but then she decides that the girls should go to acting school. This way they will be able to earn some money before they grow up. Pauline adores the school, as she dreams of becoming an actress. Petrova hates it, all she wants to do is learn about cars and planes and engines. Posy loves it too – she is born to be a dancer and the school is the perfect place for her.
I’ve read and re-read this book so much I pretty much know it off by heart. Wouldn’t every girl want to be a ballerina? This story reveals how hard it is to have a life of stardom…They cope with hardly any money and not enough food until Sylvia needs to take in borders, soon that’s not enough. Finally Great Uncle Matthew comes back and they have the chance to follow their dreams of being a pilot, a professional ballet dancer and a film star.
This book is beautifully illustrated and magnificently told. I’ve got it on DVD and the film certainly lived up to the book. I would recommend it to teen/tweenage girls who like classics.
Verdict:Every time I’ve read this book it takes a lot of persuading to put it down.
Reviewed by Daisy (11)

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Publication Date: September 2004
Format: Hardback
Pages: 192
Genre: Classic, Dance
Age: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Daisy
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book


  • Raimy

    I have this one on my to be read pile and believe it or not I have never read it! I really must soon though cos it sounds great! Thanks Daisy!!

  • Artemis

    What a beautiful beautiful story!!! I really like to read that kind of stories. I don’t know, it makes me kid again. This is pretty cool for a while.

    • Caroline

      You don’t have to explain yourself here! All book lovers welcomed. I unashamedly love to read YA although I am almost double the target demographic!

  • Helen

    I loved this book too Daisy. I always wanted to be Pauline and I thought Petrova was cool, it was nice to have a character that was into something apart from the stage. Have you read the follow up book, Curtain Up? The three girls in this are grown up and help a new set of children called Sorrel, Mark and Holly. I loved that oo, I read it so much the pages fell out the book!!

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