But what if a healthy, talented young dancer is naturally curvy?
When teen ballerina Kayla becomes, how shall we say, more shapely up top, a teacher recommends that she have a reduction surgery. News spreads quickly at her performing arts school, causing a private matter to become even more public, more obvious, and more embarrassing. Then a pair of red shoes appear with a note bearing the book's title. With her career and perhaps her life in danger, and with her peers (especially the boys) openly and enjoyably discussing her appearance, Kayla becomes uncomfortable in the limelight.
This book offers revelations and relevé, music and art, costumes and conflict. Years of rigorous training has made Kayla nothing if not determined, and, with the support of her sister and a few other supporting players, she holds her head up high and retains both her integrity and her love for dance. Dorian Cirrone has written a story to celebrate, all about sticking up for yourself (and others), sticking to your dreams, and having a positive self-image.
For more pointed stories about ballet and other forms of dance, check out my I Am a Dancer booklist.
Read my interview with Dorian Cirrone and my review of her novel Prom Kings and Drama Queens.