Review: On Pointe (Lorie Ann Grover)

The Deets: 
Audience: YA
Pages: 320
Publisher: May 25th 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 9780689865251
Genre: contemporary
Source: library book


On PointeOur feet slip into satin shoes

with stiff shanks,

hard boxing,

tight elastic,

and slippery ribbons

that wrap and end

in hard knots.

The frayed edges

are crammed

out of sight.

We stand.

A row of bound feet

rises

to its toes.

For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed -- all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close.

But what if the dream doesn't come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many won't make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size -- everything will influence the outcome. Clare's grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if not, "then" what?

Told through passionate and affecting poems in Clare's own voice, "On Pointe" soars with emotion as it explores what it means to reach for a dream -- and the way that dreams can change as quickly and suddenly as do our lives.





I don't usually read many books that are written in prose. I have been obsessed with Bookish Bingo this summer, and one of the categories called for a book about dance or music. Obviously, On Pointe became my next read because it met that requirement. I won't lie either, the promise of prose guaranteed a quick read too.

What I liked in On Pointe is the story itself. There was great insight into what it means to be a dancer and the whole training process. I had no idea how grueling it is and the impact it has on a dancer's body.

The secondary story was also very moving. Clare's family has some things to work through, and it broke my heart. I loved grandpa. He was a constant ray of hope in a bleak situation. I found it inspiring.

What I did not like about the book is the prose aspect. I think this story would have been even better if it was allowed to have the room to be more developed. The poetry aspect really put a limit on the characters and plot. I found that the "poetry" was not what I consider poetry, but simple sentences broken into "poems".

It ended up being a quick read that I enjoyed, but there was room for more.

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