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Books: Clair de Lune

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Here's another just-published book about ballet, Clair de Lune-Cassandra Golds (with Amazon link).


Its about the twelve year old daughter of a famous dancer. She has been mute for as long as she can remember and longs to speak. Her grandmother (also a famous dancer) keeps Clair de Lune isolated and primed with stories of sacrifice and devotion. With the help of Bonaventure, a mouse with the dream of starting a ballet school (and then a company) and the monk who lives in a monastary, complete with beach, garden and chapel) within Clair de Lune's apartment building (sic!), she learns about listening, speaking and the relative importance of things.


The ballet details are good so far; there are some parodic and extreme moments that I think adult balletomanes will think are quite funny; not so sure about the kids:


"But Clair de Lune also read stories of the great dancers--of the Discipline and Devotion to The Dance--and these she loved best of all. In a series of volumes entitled Artists and Their Sacrifices...she read of Sergei Superblatov, who had danced through an entire ballet with a broken leg without anyone even suspecting, enduring excruciating pain and throwing away the rest of his life as a dancer rather than disrupt the performance; of Lissete L'Oiseau, who had refused to visit the love of her life on his deathbed because it would mean missing half a day's rehersal; of Eleanor Wood, who never ate at all because she believed that food made her heavy on her feet and who, one day, during a particularly magnificent leap, ahd simply foated away like a dandelion seed, never to be seen again."


I'm just about done with this; it's hard to describe. I would suggest it only for those who liked (for example) Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Desperaux. It's a little twee and precious in parts, but redeemed by flashes of humour. Overall I'd give it a cautious thumbs up.


As for reading level I might go as young as 10 and all the way up to 14 or 15.

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