Published: 28/10/2016
ISBN: 9781785893599
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

Claire Gruzelier was born and educated in Auckland, New Zealand and came to the United Kingdom with a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a post-graduate degree in Classics at Oxford. She met her h... read more

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Ballet Boy
by Claire Gruzelier

Jordan Howe, a lanky, black sixteen-year-old living on a council estate with his grandparents, has no idea where his mother is or who his father was. Last summer, Jordan had to leave school and start work as a garage mechanic, but he dreams of a career in professional basketball.

One Sunday afternoon, he reluctantly accompanies his sister, Grace, to his old school gym. There he sees his rowdy and disaffected friends refusing to co-operate at the first session of a dance project for disadvantaged young people, launched by former ballerina Alicia Page. But the breakdown of the first lesson leaves everyone feeling depressed.

The only bright spot is the enthusiasm of twelve-year-old Grace, who has confided her interest in textiles to Alicia and been promised a visit to the company wardrobe department. Jordan, press-ganged into accompanying Grace to the ballet studios, happens to see a young male dancer rehearsing. Bored by ‘girl talk’ about sequins and tutus, he returns to the empty studio to try out a few steps and fails to notice Roy, Alicia’s husband and ex-principal of the Midland Dance Company, watching with interest from the doorway.

Inspired by Roy’s encouragement, Jordan and Grace galvanise the rest of the gang into showing up to the dance project classes and Jordan starts working towards a ballet examination. Roy decides to mount a few scenes from Romeo and Juliet for families and friends, which soon escalates into a full-blown production...

Ballet Boy is a moving and inspiring tale that is suitable for teenagers aged 16+.

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