Reviewer Fran Lewis:
Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing
Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and
a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of
Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's
Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition,
she is the author of three children's books and a fourth Alzheimer’s
book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story
in honor of her mom. Fran
hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran's Radio Show and Here
Author: Glen Strathy
Author: Glen Strathy
Taking ballet lessons is something that Jenny Spark thought that she really wanted to do. But, when confronted with dancing in front of other children and having to perform, she freezes even before her first performance. Entering the dancing school, prodded by her mother who only wants the best for her and tells her she can back out if she wants to, she forges ahead. But, what happens next is quite different from what she expected. It takes great courage to get up in front of an audience and dance. I know. I had to do it and I did not do it really well. My sister did. I think that’s what makes this book really special to me and why I felt I wanted to read the book and share Jenny’s story with readers and other reviewers. Everyone likes to dance and some of us have that energy on the inside and withhold it on the outside making our experiences unique.
After Jenny attends her first session and hides under the piano, you begin to realize that she is really not ready to dance in front of the other students. Coming up with a master plan she creates her own studio in her room at home to tryout some of the moves and steps she observes the other girls doing and she even records in a notebook. Just how this will all play out will endear you to her and make you realize what an enterprising and smart young lady she really is. The classes continue and Jenny records them on her camcorder. During one class the new instructor asks the students to improvise their movements to the music praising one girl who really excels and another who just wants to be praised as the best. But, an accident during another class brings several things into focus as one young lady will do anything to be considered the best including causing her own accident. But why? Added to that Jenny finally makes a friend and gets away with pretending to be ill so that she can just observe the classes and not really take part. So, far her parents have no idea what about her plan and she seems happy to continue with the ruse.
Many young girls imagine themselves on the stage as a prima ballerina. Jenny does not envision herself as an accomplished dancer. But, meeting the girls in her class and with the aid of Ms. Miles things would change in a whole new direction for her. Jenny makes a great new friend named Ara and together they devise a plan that would not only help improve their dancing skills but even eliminate some of Jenny’s fears about dancing in public. Learning that her mom experienced the same problem during a piano recital helps the reader understand why she wants Jenny to use her time in what she states a more productive manner. Volunteering at the dancing school was Jenny’s first step. Helping to model the exercises for the pre and beginners classes the start of something that could turn out to be really great for her and the children too. Working with Ara privately would hopefully provide some competition for Veronique the next time she tries out for a leading role and build confidence in both girls.
When Jenny fins out that Ara loaned their practice DVD to Kat she feels betrayed and storms out of the ballet school. Will she forgive her or will she quit? When Kat decides to fight for allowing Jenny to choreograph the final recital using her notes, music composed and written by her parents, will she do it? What happens when one young girl’s dream becomes a reality? What happens when Veronique learns that Jenny might be creates and choreograph the final show? Will all of the students work together? What happens will definitely endear you the students, Kat and even might enlighten her parents to become more supportive of her efforts. One great book that teaches, honesty, friendship, loyalty, trust and what faith in yourself and others can accomplish.
Author Glen Strathy’s characters are so true to life and a story that is enchanting, fast paced and definitely inspiring. One young girl who did not want to risk the chance of dancing in public or becoming more than she thought she could be. Ballet was Jenny’s dream. Would dancing become part of her life after the recital? What about her friendship with Ara and the other girls? Would Madame Beaufort allow them to continue? This is an outstanding book for children of every age. Jenny Spark is one young girl that could do more that just Dance Inside.
Click Here To Purchase Dancing on the Inside