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Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2005


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, February 1, 2005
$12.14 $1.59

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • ISBN-10: 006055701X
  • ASIN: B000IOEZ7W
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,348,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10 - Kayla, a talented ballet dancer, is a junior at Florida Arts High School (aka "Farts"). She's the sort of funny, generous person anyone would love to have for a best friend. But she has a big problem that is limiting the roles she is chosen for in school productions - her breasts are so large that they interfere with the visual composition of the performances. After Cinderellatryouts, when Kayla is selected to play one of the ugly stepsisters instead of the coveted starring role, a dance teacher gently takes her aside to commiserate and suggests that she consider breast-reduction surgery. The teen is appalled, and her feminist sister, Paterson, is even more offended. Almost immediately, the students polarize into two camps: those who would "Save the Hooters" (boys) vs. those who would "Reduce the Rack" (mainly girls). The appearance in the locker room of red ballet shoes with a death threat ("Dancing in red shoes will kill you," from a Margaret Atwood poem) initially energizes Kayla into sleuthing, and she discovers that the line was meant to be an artistic statement about society's negative messages to girls and women. A subplot involving Paterson's controversial senior art project is better developed and more integral to the novel than the mystery of the shoes. It's a shame that a predictable ending, in which Kayla realizes that she does not want to force herself into conventional roles, mars this appealing story. Nonetheless, Cirrone is an author to watch, and libraries with healthy budgets should consider this title. - Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Three double-D-cup bras keep 16-year-old Kayla's "cantaloupe boobs" under control during ballet class, but when her breasts prevent her from nailing a part she deserves, her instructor advises plastic surgery. As Kayla contemplates her options, the whole student body at her arts high school weighs in on the "Whack the Rack" versus "Save the Hooters" dilemma. The drama escalates when blood-red toe shoes start appearing around school with the scary tagline, "Dancing in red shoes will kill you," an allusion to the disturbing Red Shoes folktale, which fuels an energetic discussion of gender issues and the feminine ideal. Readers' attention may stray when the emphasis shifts from Kayla's internal conflict to a censorship brouhaha over an "obscene" feminist art project. However, Cirrone's debut novel convincingly portrays teens' repartee with the ever-fertile issues of gender politics and self-expression. Combined with the unstinting supply of boob humor, this will keep many YAs, particularly those with breasts, amused and intellectually engaged. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Heidi W. Boehringer on March 14, 2005
Format: Library Binding
Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You is an important novel by first time author, Dorian Cirrone. Ms. Cirrone tackles the politics of female body image through the story of Kayla, a ballet dancer with size double D breasts who is heckled by classmates and encouraged to pursue plastic surgery by her dance instructor if she wants to get leading roles as a ballerina. Another more subtle message in the book is females supporting other females in their success.

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You has a fantastic cast of characters--from Paterson, the feminist, to Joey's humor to Gray, Kayla's hot love interest--and a plot that will keep the reader turning to the next page and the next and the next...

This is a must buy book for mothers and fathers who want to reinforce the importance of a positive self-image for their daughters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Donihoo on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book several years ago and I could not put it down, I loved it! It was funny, sad, and romantic with a really good story behind it. I had to buy one for my two teenage granddaughters and my daughter who is in her mid thirties - they loved it too!
Read it! You won't be sorry I promise!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ballet dancers know that talent isn't always enough to keep their career afloat. They have to have determination, dedication, passion, and technical accuracy, give amazing auditions and performances - and maintain a certain physique. There are those who adhere to strict diets in order to maintain a certain weight, and some sadly resort to dangerous tactics to keep a slim figure, jeopardizing their health AND their career in doing so.

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 both her career and 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.
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Format: Paperback
Kayla Calloway has a big problem! It's her breasts. They seem to get in the way (literally and figuratively) and might prevent Kayla from pursuing her lifelong dream to be a professional ballerina. Although this novel from Dorian Cirrone is funny and fast-paced, it also explores questions surrounding body image in a thoughtful way. Teen readers will enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the world of dance and the sweet romance between Kayla and Gray.
-- Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
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By Debra Garfinkle on May 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a delightful and fast-paced book, which also thoughtfully explores issues such as body image and artistic passion. Not only is the main character endearing and makes us root for her as she worries about her body, a boy, and rivalries at school, but each supporting character is fully drawn. I liked the humor throughout the book, as well as the inciteful glimpses of the pressures of being a voluptuous ballet dancer.
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