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To Dance at the Palais Royale
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To Dance at the Palais Royale

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  119 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Winner of three historical fiction awards! 14-year-old Aggie, a newly arrived immigrant working as a domestic, is tormented by her trouble-making sister and an overbearing housekeeper. Luckily, Aggie is soon befriended by a rich, young, idealistic girl named Rose who convinces her to dress like a lady and attend a dance at the Palais Royale. Rose's brother falls for Aggie, ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (first published January 28th 1996)
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Aug 27, 2010 CLM rated it liked it
For some reason, I love stories about young women in domestic service - perhaps because I grew up on Upstairs Downstairs. Here, Aggie Maxwell leaves friends and family behind in Scotland where she has no prospects and travels to Toronto to work as a maid. Her strict older sister Emma limits Aggie's ability to make friends so adjustment to new life is slow and difficult but Aggie ultimately triumphs.
Mar 31, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
At one point in this book, McNaughton seemed set to give us a fairy tale, complete with a prince to sweep our Cinderella into a life of ease. She doesn't, which is far more satisfying.

Aggie's journey is the focus here. From child to woman, from coal-miner's daughter to immigrant, from scared and shy to owning her own choices.

I really appreciated the unexpected details - the young Jewish wife haunted by pogroms, the older sister who isn't making the best choices, the space characters give each o
Sep 24, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
I thought this was a lovely book. The story is lively and keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. My only complaint is that there are a lot of loose ends that I wish had have been tied up. Maybe the author wants to keep the reader guessing or wants the reader to choose what happens to Agnes and her family on their own. Either way I think it would have been better if all those little things got tied up. Still, amazing book. Four stars for this beautiful piece of writing.

The descrip
Nov 28, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
This is the book I have reread more than any other. A beautiful coming-of-age story, complete with friendship, heartbreak, and a wonderful love story. I love the history of Toronto mixed in with this story; I read this book when I was even younger than Aggie in the book, and I still try to catch a glimpse of the Palais Royale when I pass it on the highway.
Gabriele Wills
Aug 24, 2010 Gabriele Wills rated it liked it
A rather uneven story that seems to go in one direction and then veers off in another, leaving the reader wondering about characters that played such a large part in the first half. Worth the read, but it could have been so much more.
Jackie M
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Janet McNaughton is the multi-award-winning author of many books, including The Secret Under My Skin, An Earthly Knight and her most recent novel, Dragon Seer, which was shortlisted for the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, as well as both the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the Book of the Year for Children Award. McNaughton lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with her family.
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