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Theater Shoes (Shoes #4)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  3,751 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Three orphans are forced to enter a theater school by their grandmother, a famous actress. Unable to pay the tuition, they are given scholarships from the now-grown orphans from Ballet Shoes. Will they be able to live up to their patrons’ legacies? The children are ready to run away—until they discover their hidden talents. Originally published in 1945.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 15th 1994 by Yearling (first published 1944)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 06, 2007 Tolani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: theatre kids, outsiders
This is the book that taught me to love reading. Prior to reading theatre shoes, I struggled against my family's attempts to get me to read because I preferred my imagination. I didn't think any author could create characters or stories as engaging or sympathetic to me as I could. Noel Streatfield totally proved me wrong.

What makes this book so magical is Streatfield's ability to create a rich inner life for each of the three young protagonists without styling them as little adults. Siblings Sor
Jun 04, 2007 Jenne rated it liked it
For some reason I've been rereading a lot of these Streatfeild books lately.
This one's a fairly average example--it takes place during the war, there are orphans, they learn dancing, some of them like it, some of them don't, they have a nanny who takes care of them even though no one seems to pay her, etc. etc. keep a stiff upper lip and for god's sake DON'T START THINKING YOU'RE ALL THAT AND GETTING A SWELLED HEAD.
I wonder if NS had some horribly stuck-up spoiled cousin when she was a child and
When their father is lost at sea, Sorrel, Mark, and Holly are forced to move to London to live with their previously unknown actress grandmother. She's determined to have them follow in the family's theatrical footsteps--no matter how much they protest! Do they have the talent to perform on the stage? Will they be able to adjust to this glamorous but difficult family?
Another classic from one of my favourite children's authors. Sorrel, Mark and Holly have been brought up in a vicarage, with a slightly eccentric grandfather who takes little notice of them. When he passes away peacefully, they are taken to London, where they learn that their considerably more eccentric grandmother used to be a famous actress. They are to be moved from their current private schools to a stage training school, where they have to learn dancing, singing and acting as well as other ...more
May 12, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I caught the theatre bug early on so this one was a particular favorite of mine. Theatre Shoes includes characters from Ballet Shoes. I always like it when I recognize people from other novels, i feel so important, as though I know someone famous and now have bragging rights.
Jul 03, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: little girls, especially ones with an interest in the performing arts.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maureen E

This book is a direct sequel to Ballet Shoes, although I read it first this time around. It takes place about ten years after Ballet Shoes, in the middle of World War II. Sorrel, Mark, and Holly Forbes are living with their grandfather because their mother is dead and their father is in the Navy and has now gone missing. When their grandfather dies suddenly they are forced to go and live with their mother’s mother in London. She happens to be a famous actress along with the rest of the Warren fa
Three children are sent by their actress grandmother to the famous Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training, originally introduced in Streatfeild's earlier Ballet Shoes.

The book is rather formulaic (which could be guessed of a book in a children's series), but it does spend a good amount of time referring back to the young Fossil characters from Ballet Shoes (and updating the reader on where the characters are now and what they're doing) and comparing the three children in this family t
Feb 20, 2010 Jazzmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-again
I loved the innocence and charm that 'Theater Shoes' had. It was nice to read something sweet and cheery, as well as written for a younger audience. I loved the time it was set in because it gave it such a pleasant feel. It was an enjoyable and light read and nicely effortless and was nice also, because of the idea that Sorrel, Mark and Holly faced the world together and found happiness and excitement while sticking together. They supported eachother.
To me, at times the language was a little co
Confession: As a child (and young teen) I read Theater Shoes more often than I read Ballet Shoes. I would even say I loved Theater Shoes a tiny bit more, though I really am not sure why.
For some reason I feel strange admitting this, perhaps because Ballet Shoes is undeniably of a higher calibre. But there you have it!
My favorite part of this one, the thing that's stuck with me through the years is (view spoiler)

One thing that struck me this time is how great Streatfeild is at writing kids in that the kids who are kind
Apr 03, 2011 Maninee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i have been a great fan of the theatre ever since i was a child. i even took a few classes on theatre last year. so it wasn't a very great surprise when this book was the the first to catch my eye on my to the library this week. i had never heard of noel streatfield until i saw this book, but after reading it i must admit that i love her writing very much.

the story is about three children named sorrel, mark and holly forbes. during the second world war their father rejoined the navy and they wer
Katie Fitzgerald
This is one of the older books I've featured on Old School Sunday, but it's one of the ones that holds up the best. The drama between Miranda and Sorrel reads like many tween novels being published today and definitely zeroes in on the kind of friendship stories girls in the middle grade age range love to read. It's also a great choice for girls who are not yet into romance and dating, but instead like to read about girls having life experiences, spending time with their families, and working ha ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Melissa rated it it was ok

Life’s a bummer – Sorrel, Mark, and Holly’s mother is dead (although we never learn when or how), their father is missing in action during WWII, they are living with their paternal grandfather, who also dies, then they are shipped to London to live with their maternal grandmother (whom they have never met) only to learn they are a part of a theatrical dynasty (think Barrymore or Fonda) and are required to follow in their familial footsteps.

Theater Shoes, b
Apr 05, 2012 Alice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
This is my favorite of the Shoes books, probably because I read it over and over when I was a kid. While reading this copy, however, I was somewhat dismayed to realize that the copy I had was either edited down to make it shorter, or to make it more comprehensible to 1980s American children. Meaning I read an abridged version--the horror! It was both nice to read all the missing parts and very odd, because the book seemed clunkier and like it dragged more with all the extraneous detail added.

Jul 13, 2015 Rebekah rated it really liked it
I am reminded of the Little House books in a way. Ballet Shoes and Theater Shoes focus on three particular children, those around them, and their struggles and adventures, but it isn't one big plot, that leads on to a big ending. It's more of days in the life of children trying to find a way and make the best of it. Ballet Shoes did finish with all the girls going their own way but it doesn't feel like the story is over. Theater Shoes even less so, it's a lovely conclusion but you know that thei ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Oracle_books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: annie
Theatre Shoes (originally published as Curtain Up) is a sort-of sequel to Noel Streatfeild’s great Ballet Shoes. Ten years have passed placing us right in the middle of World War 2. The pupils at Madame’s academy still train hard for careers on the stage, although rationing makes the struggles for money and appropriate clothing even more pressing. Though Theatre Shoes follows a new set of pupils, siblings Sorell, Mark and Holly, whose father is missing in action, we get glimpses into the lives o ...more
Girl with her Head in a Book
I first read this book as a child when it was known as Curtain Up! but like many of Noel Streatfield's books, it has been rebranded to bring it in line with her shoes related theme. From a marketing point of view, I can entirely see how this makes sense but while ballet shoes were a central part of Ballet Shoes, footwear pays no real part in this novel, nor indeed in what was The Painted Garden and is now Movie Shoes. Still, if it brings more readers to Noel Streatfeild, then I dare say that the ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Caranna rated it really liked it
What a wonderful little story! This was the first of the "Shoes" books I have read but Theater Shoes is actually a sequel to Streatfield's Ballet Shoes, which I plan to get a hold of and read soon.

This story takes place during World War II. It's neat to get a glimpse into life during that time - rationing, air raids, and the like. Theater Shoes follows siblings Sorell, Mark and Holly, whose mother has died and whose father is missing in action.

Noel Stretfield mixes escapist fantasy with down to
Sep 02, 2013 Irene rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elementary school aged kids
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is another good one, and it isn't hampered by the constant Fossil mentions. One thing that struck me this reread, particularly reading all the Shoes books out of order, is that there's no clear timeline established for all the talented kids who look up to the Fossils. I'm convinced this is the first one, because it's so clearly a wartime book (its strongest aspect) and I think the novel states that Pauline is only eighteen, which means constant mentions of her aren't completely ridiculous, ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Megan added it
Shelves: eng-261
This book shows how well the "shoe" books work with each other. Each of the books have at least one orphan in them, and in the Theater Shoes book, there are three orphans. These orphans are put into a theater school and are unable to pay the tuition, but thanks to the orphans from the Ballet Shoes book, they are able to go and have a grade adventure while at the school. Again Noel Streatfeild is a genius when it comes to writing books for little girls. He knows exactly how to reach the soul of a ...more
A little peek into Where-Are-They-Now with Posy, Pauline, and Petrova Fossil from the BALLET SHOES, with the addition of a new story and the life changing plight the Forbes children--Sorrel, Mark, and Holly suddenly find themselves in. With the understanding that author Noel Streatfeild wrote more about the Fossil girls to the pleas of fans, I had expected a little more of them in the book than there was.

The new cast held a wonderful mix of characters from the eccentric Grandmother Warren, the
"Oh, it's part of a series?" was my initial--and somewhat dismayed--reaction to Theater Shoes upon learning that it is indeed part of a series. However, I was relieved to find out that each of the books in this series does not follow the same story or has the same characters as the other books, and that lessened my fear somehow. To my utmost pleasure, Theater Shoes was an enjoyable and pleasant read. It was exactly what I needed after reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer, which was a rather dark a ...more
Jane Irish Nelson
Jun 11, 2015 Jane Irish Nelson rated it really liked it
Another old favorite. When the Second World War breaks out, Bill Forbes rejoins the Royal Navy, leaving his three children with his father, a country vicar. But then Bill is reported missing, and shortly later his father dies. So the three children: Sorrel, Mark, and Holly, are sent to live with their maternal grandmother. As their mother, Adeline, died when they were much younger, they know nothing about her family, and are surprised to learn that it is a very well-known acting dynasty. They ar ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why I chose this book to start my NS re-read - the logical point is of course Ballet Shoes, especially as in Curtain Up the Fossil sisters have walk-on parts and the main characters are studying with an older (but thankfully recovered) Madame Fidolia. But this was a book I read for the first time as an adult (so I am probably saving my childhood favourites for the end of the re-read). Some of Noel Streatfeild's books were hard to find as a child, and I was also young enough when I s ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
The premise of Theater Shoes reminds me a little bit of Harry Potter, oddly enough. After their grandfather dies, somebody comes to the the Forbes children and is like, "Guess what? Your grandmother is a famous actress and your uncle is a film star, and you have aunts and uncles and cousins that you never knew existed because your grandmother disowned your mother for eloping." YOU'RE A WIZARD, HARRY.

I thoroughly enjoy this book. It's about discovering talent you never knew you had because nobod
Pamela Huxtable
Dec 24, 2015 Pamela Huxtable rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s
A charming period piece. The three Forbes siblings are sent to live with their grandmother, who is an actress in London in 1943. She sends them to the Academy for schooling, where they discover their talents and ambition.

My copy is called "Curtain Up"
Oct 19, 2016 Lacy rated it it was amazing
One of the most delightful children's books ever. The Peevensies meet the world of the stage. Real life magic. My girls loved it. (This is not a series. The "shoe" books were so titled by the publisher as a marketing ploy after the author's initial success with Ballet Shoes, as it turns out.)
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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)
  • Party Shoes (Shoes, #5)
  • Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)
  • Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7)
  • Family Shoes (Shoes, #8)
  • Dancing Shoes (Shoes, #9)
  • New Shoes (Shoes, #10)
  • Traveling Shoes (Shoes, #11)

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“It's about that applause I want to speak to you. I want you to remember that when you've done a little dance or a song or sketch, the applause which you get is not only because you yourself have done your best, but because each of those men is seeing in you someone he loves at home, and because of you is able to forget for a little while the unhappiness of not being in his home, and in some cases the great tragedy of not knowing what has happened to the children in his family.” 13 likes
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