No Ballet Shoes in Syria

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No Ballet Shoes in Syria

No Ballet Shoes in Syria

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It is 1945 and as World War II draws to an end in Germany, two 14-year-olds meet while trying to reach safety.

When I discussed the idea with my editor at Nosy Crow, we were both conscious of the difficulties of writing about events that are happening now – complex, potentially troubling issues that we would be asking young readers to confront without the distance of history. I have a quote from one of my favourite writers, Alan Gibbons, above my desk: “I never enter a dark room unless I can light the way out.” That’s what I wanted to do – to confront difficult issues, in a way that didn’t offer glib solutions or whitewash the truth, but which did offer the consolation of hope. Aya is eleven, Syrian, and seeking asylum in Britain. Her mum, her, and her baby brother, escaped from the war in Syria - but her father got separated from them on the way. Her whole family is suffering from the experience (and it's handled so delicately and sensitively and well by Bruton but fyi if you're working with children who may have undergone a similar experience), and her life is not easy. One day she comes across a ballet class, and it's there that everything starts to change... The story follows Aya on her new life in England with extracts written following her journey from Syria to England. The minute you start this book you have so much sympathy for Aya and want nothing but good things to happen to her but life isn’t that easy, which Aya soon realises. My forthcoming Rom-Com ‘ Confessions of a Helicopter Mummy’ has been described as ‘The most sparkling romantic comedy of the year’ and ‘Bridget Jones meets the Bad Moms via ‘Sex in the City’ for the Tik Tok Generation!’ For Aya, doing ballet is her own coping mechanism and her passion. Anybody can tell just how much she loves it and I'm so glad that the people around her are so supportive. Its so nice to see that families and strangers even are willing to go to such length just to make her dream come true.

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With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity. Kortom een boek om in één ruk uit te lezen, niet enkel voor de doelgroep, maar ook voor volwassenen. I really enjoyed this well-balanced and inspiring story. Aya is a spirited and determined character, often torn between her own ambitions and caring for her family. She makes friends but also experiences jealousy and prejudice and it is not until her full story is revealed towards the end of the book that many of the other characters truly understand the devastation and horror she has overcome.

Catherine talks about the inspiration for ‘Following Frankenstein’ and reads from the opening chapter Confessions of a Helicopter MummyI am very obviously not the target demographic for this book but I read the synopsis on my library app and thought it sounded interesting, and it was short enough for me to get through in a single sitting so 🤷🏾‍♀️ why not!

Oleg Ivenko (right) as Rudolf Nureyev and Ralph Fiennes as his teacher Alexander Pushkin in The White Crow (2018). Photograph: Landmark Media/AlamyI read the author's note and discovered she was influenced by the same books I had growing up: Noel Streatfeld's Ballet shoes, Kerr's When Hitler stole pink rabbit, and the Sadlers Wells books (I possibly have read these all about 50+ times each!) ... and I felt a kindred spirit flutter! 🤗

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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