Dancing Shoes
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Dancing Shoes (Shoes #9)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,674 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Aunt Cora is determined to turn two orphans, perky Hilary and sullen Rachel, into members of her dance troupe. But Rachel wants to keep Hilary from being one of Wintle's Little Wonders - is it selfishness or something else? Misunderstandings and a spoiled cousin come together for a tale full of high drama. Originally published in 1957.
Paperback, 273 pages
Published February 15th 1980 by Dell Yearling (first published 1957)
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Rachel
Formative for me. Streatfeild's unconventional families undoubtedly influenced my ideas of what can and should be "family", and her portrayal of the business of art gave me a more realistic idea of artistry from the outset. Dancing Shoes is my favorite of the Shoes series. I'm still not sure how it captivated me for so many reads as a kid, but it held up to my rediscovery. As an adult, I identified even more with Rachel in her desire to make things conform to what she believes as right, and her...more
Kerith
I do enjoy Streatfeild's Shoe books quite a bit - the formula is appealing in that there is usually a snooty character who learns a lesson and another who discovers an unknown talent and surprises everyone. In Dancing Shoes two sisters, having lost both of their parents, must go live with a previously unknown uncle. This uncle is married to a dancing teacher - who is quite difficult to live with -- and they have a spoiled & conceited dancing daughter. The girls must learn to dance. Hilary ha...more
Paula
Even though I did like this book, I didn't like it quite as much as I did Ballet Shoes. This probably is because it was about as enjoyable to read the parts containing Mrs. W and her daughter Dulcie as it was to read the parts with Umbridge in the Harry Potter books. Then again, the fact that the relationship between Rachel and Hilary is more complex than the one among the sisters in Ballet Shoes is a positive thing.

The ending was unexpected, although I feel like it shouldn't have been. Had I be...more
Esther
In the movie "You've Got Mail" there is a reference made to the Shoe books by Noel Streatfeild. I happen to see this one while perusing shelves at the library and picked it up curious.

The writing was charming and I can see why it is a children's classic. I probably would of loved it as a girl. I enjoyed it as an adult but I think because of the movie I had expectations that were a little too high for it.

Also one of the girls in the story is adopted and at first I was uncomfortable about many c...more
Marian
i loved these books as a little girl and this one stood the test of time yesterday. nuanced complex characters - talent doesn't equal ambition, beauty doesn't equal kindness, loyalty is earned, characters are flawed but lovable. plus they are realistically 10 and they realistically age. they have complex thoughts and feelings and are eager to express themselves but frequently do so poorly.

without plot details, these are great reads for girls who are looking for role models that love performance...more
Theophania Elliott
This is my favourite of Noel Streatfeild's 'Shoes' books, and has been ever since I read it years ago.

Partly it's because of the story of the plain, talentless Rachel, who eventually finds her own talent and happiness (being the plain sister can be pretty awful). However, it's not just about Rachel finding her own place, but also about her realising that not only can she not run her sister's life, but also she can't expect Hilary to live her life according to what her dead parents 'would have wa...more
Eustacia Tan
I have long heard about the book Ballet Shoes. Apparently they're a childhood classic, and Dancing Shoes is in the same series as them. What I didn't know was that one of my childhood favourites - The Painted Garden, was also by this author! Thankfully, I liked Dancing Shoes, so I wasn't disappointed :D

Dancing Shoes follows Rachel and Hilary. Hilary is Rachel's adopted sister, and because of something that Rachel's mother said, Rachel is convinced that Hilary is cut out to be a dancer. However,...more
Chelsea Cameron
This heartfelt book gives off great examples of, passion, commitment, loyalty and friendship. Three young orphans start their lives together as carefree children who find themselves in a state of struggle when their adopted great-uncle goes missing while on a fossil finding expedition. The young girls find themselves becoming responsible for providing for themselves as the main breadwinners in the family. The girls are ballet dancers and as stage performers they are able to provide enough for th...more
Tanya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I read this book as an adult, but I have to say I find strong similarties among all of Noel Streatfeild's "dancing" stories. Always the parents disappear due to death or whatever, leaving the children in someone else's care. There's always a responsible sibling who hates dancing herself, but passionately wants her sister to be a ballerina. Always the remarks about "only till I'm fifteen, then I can do something different." And there's always someone who gets attention on stage and lets it go to...more
Emily
The best of the 3 "Shoes" books that I've read. Ballet Shoes and Theater Shoes both divided the reader's attention among three protagonists. By focusing on just one main character (Rachel), Dancing Shoes allowed me to really get to know her and become attached.
Audra
I heard of these books from...you guessed it, "You've got mail." I was browsing in the library several weeks ago and happened to see these books. I really liked the story and enjoyed reading them. They are a nice easy read.
Hannah
If you like dance, kids, people drama, the vintage historical period, British atmosphere, or anything to do with what ordinary people are really like, read this book.
It's awesome. :)
Personally, I like it a tiny bit better than Ballet Shoes. Dulcie is a remarkably realistic mean girl--most authors wimp out on letting us see what a mean girl is really like, for fear of offending the mean girls who might happen to be reading ;) -- and the Cinderella element of Rachel's plot is so well handled it do...more
Kelly
I absolutely loved this book as a young girl (elementary age 3-5). If you love dance you'll love this book. It was one of my most favorite books when I was young.
Magda
I think this is my favorite of the "Shoes" books.
Qnpoohbear
Rachel Lennox is happy living in the English countryside with her mother and adopted sister Hilary. The family is poor but Hilary is a superb dancer and expected to attend the Royal Ballet School and become a star. Rachel's mother dies after a terrible accident, leaving Rachel and Hilary to the care of Rachel's uncle and his wife, Aunt Cora, who runs a dancing school for Mrs. Wintle's Little Wonders. Mrs. Wintle is eager to add Hilary to her troupe but does not expect the girl to upstage her own...more
Laurel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Irene
Sep 07, 2013 Irene rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary school aged girls
Shelves: children
After reading this book, I can't believe how much I want to say about it!

Isabelle didn't even finish this one. I was surprised because she gave 5 stars to both Ballet Shoes and Theatre Shoes, and how different could this book be? Once I started reading Dancing Shoes, however, I could see right away why she didn't like it.

On the surface, there is much about this book that is similar to the others. The main character, Rachel, is an orphan, and she and her adopted sister, Hilary, are forced to tr...more
Natasha
What a treat to discover a Noel Streatfeild book I never read as a child. After their mother dies, Rachel and Hilary go to live with their aunt who runs a dancing school, much to the consternation of Rachel, who isn't interested in dancing herself but wants Hilary to continue with the classical ballet training her mother had planned. Published twenty years after Ballet Shoes, it features such modern inventions as television, but with the same old-fashioned feel nonetheless, and Streatfeild's ver...more
Alice
A fun addition to the Shoes series, but not the best. Rachel and Hillary are orphans taken in by their aunt, who runs a dancing school. Hillary is a good dancer, and was training for the ballet before their mother died. Rachel gets it into her head that Hillary absolutely MUST be a ballet dancer because cartwheels and high kicks and the type of dancing Hillary likes is low-class. This part of the book seemed totally acceptable to me as a child, but as an adult she came off as a control freak and...more
Carly Thompson
Enjoyable middle-grade British children's novel from the mid 20th century. Like all of the Shoe books, this centers on a group of children (conceited Dulcie, sensitive Rachel, and comedic Hillary) training for a profession, in this case dancing (modern, musical comedy style, not ballet). This was great fun to listen to and reminded me of how much I enjoyed these books as a child. However, revisiting the book as an adult I was much more aware of how times have changed since the book was originall...more
Sfk
May 14, 2014 Sfk rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Charlotte
Very good.
Exciting and Wonderful.
Cora Wintle is director of Mrs. Wintle's Little Wonders.
Hilary and Rachel's mom dies and Aunt Cora says she will take Rachel but ends up taking Hilary too.(very little about dying in this book)
Dulcie is a very concited child.
#GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!
Pinkweeds
This is the first of the Shoe books I've read, and I devoured it in about two days. The writing was lovely, although character development could have been better for some of the supporting characters. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Streatfeild.
Rachel
This was a book I have enjoyed since I was a girl (along with the other books in the series). Since I was interested in dancing and theater, I often longed for adventures like those that the characters in these books find. I especially liked the main character of this book because her name was Rachel, and she loved to read. Also, unlike her cousin Dulcie who was always seeking the spotlight, Rachel found fame without seeking for it. That was my dream--that someday some amazing movie producer wou...more
Sue
More children's fiction from one of my favourite juvenile authors. Hilary and Rachel are orphaned, and go to live with Aunt Cora and Uncle Tom. �Cora runs a stage school, teaching all kinds of dance and drama, and has a daughter - Dulcie - who is very conceited. Hilary was training to be a ballet dancer, but finds herself enjoying other kinds of dancing more, much to Rachel's dismay. Rachel is not a dancer at all, and doesn't in the least want to train in her aunt's stage school...

Great charact...more
Marisa Fields
Unlike most of Streatfeild's books, this one contains characters that the reader doesn't really like. I wasn't sure I liked that, since one of my favorite aspects of her writing is that all the characters contain both good and bad traits which makes them very believable. To have an actual villain-type character is a departure, but the main character Rachel is fun, spunky and very readable. The dancing descriptions, and the devotion between the sisters is enjoyable. However, this remains my least...more
Audrey
I read the whole "Shoes" series when I was younger and adored them. I was browsing at the library with my oldest daughter, who is 11, the other day and came across them again. I thought it would be fun to re-read them -- and of course, I'm trying to talk Cass into reading them as well. Great story, enjoyable characters, decent writing -- although everything was a bit formulaic, the dancing concept makes it stand out from other "orphaned child has hard time, things get better" books that were pop...more
T.R.
Another lovely Streatfield story about talented orphans who make good :)
Dawn
Eh, not terrible. In one word- meh.
Sarah
This was the first book I read by Noel Streatfeild, and it didn't disappoint. Pauline is an orphan who was adopted by Rachel's mother, and she is a natural dancer. When Rachel's mother dies, Rachel and Pauline go to live with Rachel's aunt, Cora Winkle, who runs a dancing school. Everyone has hopes for Pauline, who has no ambition and is naturally lazy. No-one has any hopes for Rachel, who turns out to be a natural actress. This book is more about how Rachel learns to let go of her dreams for Pa...more
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Mary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel Streatfeild, is an author, best known and loved for her children's books including Ballet Shoes and Circus Shoes. She was born on Christmas Eve, 1895, the daughter of William Champion Streatfeild and Janet Venn and the second of six children to be born to the couple. Sister Ruth was the oldest, after Noel came Barbara, William ('Bill'), Joyce (who died of TB pr...more
More about Noel Streatfeild...
Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4) Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7) Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6) Thursday's Child

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