In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BUNHEADS by Sophie Flack

copyright: 2011
primarily marketed for: young adults (high school)

If you know me, you know I am a HUGE fan of So You Think You Can Dance.  Dance is an art form I have a deep appreciation for—an art form where I am much better left to be an audience member than a participant! 

So, it is no surprise that I fell in love with Bunheads by Sophie Flack, which my friend Ruth recommended to me. 

Bunheads is the story of Hannah, a ballet dancer with the Manhattan Ballet company.  To be a ballet dancer, Hannah has had to give up normal high school and college life to dedicate herself completely to dance.  Her dance world is easy to be envious of, and Hannah couldn’t be happier than she is when she is dancing on stage. 

Given that the author was a ballet dancer herself, the story has an authenticity to it that would be nearly impossible for a non-dancer to duplicate.  As a reader you are entirely immersed in the vocabulary of Hannah’s dance world along with the rigorous schedule and complicated relationships amongst dancers. 

This is definitely a story driven by character, not plot.  When Hannah meets Jacob, she begins to realize that maybe there are things outside of her world of ballet that she might be just as passionate about.  At the same time, the dance company is becoming more and more competitive and men within the world of dance are beginning to notice her as well. 

Reading Bunheads is a journey into the head and heart of a dedicated ballet dancer discovering who she is and who she wants to be.  And I enjoyed every moment of that journey.


  1. Thanks for the review; I read Ruth's too, so with both of you saying, I think I'd better find & read it. I have a former student who would love it. who dances for the Colorado Junior Ballet now & spent time with the National Ballet company's junior program last summer. The dedication to her life as a dancer when I had her for 6th through 8th grade was amazing. It is her life! Nice to hear about again, Christy!

  2. I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance too. My daughter and I watch and debate it religiously. My favorite season was Season 4 with Katee, Joshua, Mark, Chelsea, and Twitch. They had such a great group of dancers that season. Talent and personality.