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Dancing Shoes (Shoes #9)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  4,091 Ratings  ·  166 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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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
Eustacia Tan
Jul 03, 2014 Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jun 25, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 04, 2012 Kerith rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
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
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
Oct 12, 2010 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
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
Apr 02, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
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
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
Dec 08, 2008 Audra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard of these books 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.
Beth re-read it so I had to. (Also, wow, has it really been five years since I last read this? That seems wrong.)

Looooove this one. Maybe my favorite Streatfeild. RACHEL. Much more like I was than most child characters.

And SUCH a satisfying ending.
I started this book, one of my all time favorite Streatfeilds, standing in a public library in Bermuda in November 1971, and it was years before I found a copy in the US but it was just as good as I had remembered it.
Nov 23, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
I think this is my favorite of the "Shoes" books.
Aug 30, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 29, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved Noel Streatfeild's books and as a child I got my library to ILL them for me or hunted through second hand book stores to find all of them. She tells the perfect "girls stories". I was always able to find one character in each book that was my favorite. They definitely stand up to re-reads.
Mar 14, 2017 ThePinkCarrot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story for girls. Might inspire young girls to be dancers.
Sep 07, 2013 Irene rated it liked it  ·  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
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Like Ballet Shoes and Theater Shoes, Dancing Shoes is another novel by Noel Streatfeild about children in show business. The setting for this story is a dancing school run by selfish, demanding Cora Wintle, who calls her students Wintle’s Wonders. Rachel, the main protagonist, is Cora’s niece, and she and her adopted sister Hilary move in with Cora after their mother dies and leaves them orphans. Rachel has no interest in dancing, but Hilary
Cathy Cramer
My 6th grader enjoyed this book so much, wanting me to read it afterwards, and saying that Hillary doing the contest secretly was the "best part." The 6th grader also enjoyed seeing who won which parts in various shows.

I had a harder time with this book. Mostly, the book was about young girls taking dance lessons, not a hobby of mine. Worse, the main character in the books didn't even like her own lessons, which doesn't inspire me to like dance any more than I already do. Rachel had to put up wi
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Jul 06, 2014 T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, children
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
I got this book free so i won't moan, but I really didn't enjoy the story as much a I had hoped. I know its a childrens book and a very popular series, but this one no. I heard of these books, via the movie 'You've Got Mail' and i loved that film. But i think perhaps the first book Ballet shoes is the most popular.

This book is simple to read, although I thought it wasn't very clear either. It was very stop, start. The story is about Rachel and Hilary who are left orphans after their mother dying
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
Mar 05, 2012 Laurel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2014 Tanya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, read-2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Thomas
Feb 17, 2017 Maria Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean, children
Of the 4 Shoes books available at my public library, this was my favorite. I know Ballet Shoes is generally thought to be the best of them but I still prefer Dancing Shoes to the Ballet.
Chelsea Cameron
Apr 30, 2014 Chelsea Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: t-l-307, favorites
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
Jan 02, 2014 Sweetmongoose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only heard of this classic recently and didn't expect it to be so good. The cover makes the theme seem quite light and a little foolish (but it's a friendly cover). I found it hard to put down. The plot is compelling and the characters are enjoyable. When I finished it I was impressed with the way the author had handled certain subtle themes - how emotional hardship mixed with technique can produce great art (or the potential for great art), how one can want something obsessively for a family ...more
Feb 19, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just reread this today (incidentally, what's up with the Goodreads numbers? What makes this book number 9? I read it second, when I was eight or so). I'd forgotten how much I love everyone in this book! There's Rachel, who isn't pretty and loves reading and is terrible at dancing, which is so uncomfortable for her, attending her aunt's dancing school - I always loved Rachel. But Hilary! She's funny and smart and completely unambitious and makes such an excellent foil for the hilariously awful Du ...more
Anastacia Hawkins
Dancing Shoes was written in 1957. The writing has a very classic feel, lovely descriptions, and a character driven plot. However, I found it a bit boring and tedious, and lacking in excitement. I didn't especially care about any of the characters or where the story was going.
Oct 12, 2014 DW rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-books, fiction
I remember liking this book more when I read it as a kid (I felt the same way about Ballet Shoes). This one was more believable than Ballet Shoes, if only slightly, because it's much easier to imagine orphans coming to live with their aunt who runs a dance studio than it is to imagine poor kids who have to help out their family by getting acting or dancing gigs. Why are all the children in kid's books orphans?

Anyway, what made this book annoying for me on the rereading was that Rachel keeps thi
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Mary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel Streatfeild, was 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 p ...more
More about Noel Streatfeild...

Other Books in the Series

Shoes (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1)
  • Tennis Shoes (Shoes, #2)
  • Circus Shoes (Shoes, #3)
  • Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4)
  • Party Shoes (Shoes, #5)
  • Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)
  • Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7)
  • Family Shoes (Shoes, #8)
  • New Shoes (Shoes, #10)
  • Traveling Shoes (Shoes, #11)

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