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Dance of Sisters

Dance of Sisters

4.8 10
by Tracey Porter

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I want to stretch to the moon, Delia thought. Far, far away.

Twelve-year-old Delia Ferri doesn't remember her mother, or her family the way it used to be. All she knows is that her sister, Pearl, and her father are fighting more and more. Pearl is withdrawn and angry, so Delia vows not to give her father anything else to worry about.



I want to stretch to the moon, Delia thought. Far, far away.

Twelve-year-old Delia Ferri doesn't remember her mother, or her family the way it used to be. All she knows is that her sister, Pearl, and her father are fighting more and more. Pearl is withdrawn and angry, so Delia vows not to give her father anything else to worry about.

Delia loses herself to the rigorous world of ballet, and only when it has consumed her completely does she begin to understand how fiercely her sister had to fight for her own truth. Delia discovers that the bond between two sisters can't be broken — no matter where the dance of life takes them.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
PW's starred review called this "an absorbing and eye-opening novel about two motherless sisters. Porter, who has first-hand experience with the rigors of ballet, candidly exposes the nightmarish elements behind a girl's dream of becoming a classical dancer." Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
This well-written book can be enjoyed by many young adults. It portrays the risks and joys of ballet quite realistically. The characters are believable, and their reactions to events are human. It conveys a strong message that there is a path in life for everyone, but it might take time to find that path. Everyone can enjoy this book, but dancers can especially relate. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins, 288p,
— Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Delia, 12, and her older sister, Pearl, struggle with adolescence and the loss of their mother in very different ways. Delia attends a prestigious ballet school headed by a former prima ballerina, and the focus of the story is on her. Pearl, who is into witchcraft, is on her way to getting kicked out of yet another prep school. And their father is still grieving the loss some 10 years later. As the competition at the academy gets tougher and tougher, Delia realizes that it is time to make important decisions about her future. Porter's best passages are about the ballet school and its dancers and she does a credible job of revealing the underbelly of the serious ballet student's world. The text is weak in the passages unrelated to dance and may fail to hold readers' attention. The author's handling of the theme of losing a parent is undeveloped and, ultimately, a distraction. In addition, the relationship between the two sisters is neither compelling nor fully fleshed out, and readers never get the sense of their loss or loneliness.-Elaine Baran Black, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this story of family dysfunction, two sisters attempt in very different fashions to cope with the death of their mother. Pearl, who is older, practices white magic, paints her face white, and wears cut-up black dresses. Delia devotes her body and soul to ballet after enrolling in a Washington school run by a Russian �migr� teacher. Their father sends Pearl to a private school where she is assigned the task of training a difficult horse. By the end of the story, she has found happiness and a career--horse trainer. Delia follows a more difficult path. She loves to dance but finds herself in the back row of the corps when a famous former dancer stages a ballet choreographed by a famous Mr. P. (Balletos will perhaps find hints of George Balanchine and his seminal American masterpiece, Serenade.) Madame, who runs the ballet school, tells Delia that she is too fat and too ordinary to attain the status of prima ballerina. At the same time, fortunately, Delia finds meaning and purpose in studying the ghost dances of the late-19th-century Plains Indians and Brazilian dance. The issues of teen rebellion, anorexia, and family communication are treated too glibly while the constant stream of ballet terminology could confuse even an aspiring dancer. The references to New York companies and schools are out of date and too esoteric for most readers, though budding Delias will probably not mind. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Tracey Porter is the author of Treasures in the Dust and A Dance of Sisters. For the past twenty years she has been a middle school teacher at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California, where, among other things, she has explored the issues of child labor, children's rights, and the juvenile justice system with

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Dance of Sisters 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is such a good book. That's all there is to it. I think that everyone should really read this. It may be about dance/ballet, but you really do walk away with lessons in everday life, not just dancing. I most definitely recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The witchcraft The book I read was Dance of Sister. It was about two sisters living with their dad. Clara was young about three, and her sister was about ten when their mom died. Clara doesn¿t remember a lot about her mom so she asked her older sister. Clara¿s older sister knows a little bit, but really not a lot so both of them started doing a lot of witchcraft. Then their dad found out, if you want to know what happens next or through out the story then you should read this book. Well really I didn¿t like that it have to start really slow but after the third to fourth chapter it really picked up. That¿s when it started getting good, well at least it seemed like that to me. I really couldn¿t relate to this book because I never tired witchcraft, but maybe you should read this book to see if you relate to it. No, Its not part of a series well that I know of. No, It doesn¿t remind me of a television show or movies. The people that I think would like to read this book or should are people that like books keeping you wondering what will happen even if you find out, you want to know what goes next. No, this book doesn¿t relate to other books or Authors I read. Really this book is great you should read it and find out yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a dancer, and i'm starting pointe next year. I read this book a few months ago and it made me realize how much i loved dance and gave me the determination to go en pointe. The charecters are so realistic as are the situations. This book is a must read for all dancers, and anyone who loves a good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is a amazing book. delia is a wonderfull dancer who learns about friendship and the strong relationship of sisters. this is a beautiful book that will keep you reading!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i liked this book very much. i recomend it to those who like to find books where they can learn something. the characters are sometimes disturbing but other than that it was a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was an amazing story! i recomended it to my friends and they loved it too. I am a ballet dancer and i enjoyed this story. i also understand how she feels about being too heavy even though everyone says im stick skinny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. I'm a dancer & when I read this book it encourage me to try harder to be on pointe. I really recommand this book especailly if you dance. You should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I am somewhat of a picky reader, but I loved Dance of Sisters! i dance ballet also and this made me excited for pointe! (advanced kind of dance) if u like to dance, or like dance stories, then i highly reccomend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The tweleve year old Delia is what Madame Elvona calls ¿destined¿ to be a famous ballerina. Madame Elanova is a world famous ballet instructor who runs the ballet school that Delia attends. Delia¿s older sister ,Pearl, is interested in white wicth craft, where black, and rebelling. All because she strongly misses her dead mother. She and her father ,Mr. Ferri, are constantly fighting untill she is sent away to baording school. Delia is worried that she is to heavy to dance so she goes on a diet. The diet goes a little to far and her outstanding school work drops way below passing. Ballet is taking over her life. Will Delia realise she is losing her grip on life or will she become a ballerina like she has dreamed since she was young? To find out read this great book. Trust someone who has lived true some of this torture.