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A Very Young Dancer
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A Very Young Dancer

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  520 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
A ten-year-old student at the School of American Ballet in New York describes her classes and the preparation for and performance of her role in the ballet "The Nutcracker."
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 12th 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf
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May 04, 2009 Susann rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Susann by: my sister
Growing up, my sister and I took turns checking out this and A VERY YOUNG GYMNAST from the library. My mom eventually bought us A VERY YOUNG SKATER and A VERY YOUNG HORSEBACK RIDER, but DANCER and GYMNAST are still the best.
In the mid-1970s, Krementz spent months following 10-year-old Stephanie at NYC's School of American Ballet. Stephanie gets chosen to play Mary in the Nutcracker, and the reader gets to see what life is like at ballet school and on stage and backstage at the New York City Bal
Oct 03, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
I was very taken as a balletomane kid with this book-length photoessay about a young ballet student at the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center. Better yet, she is cast as Marie in that year's production of The Nutcracker, so we're treated to a backstage view of the beloved ballet. Krementz takes her child subjects (other books in the series concerned a horseback rider and a gymnast) seriously, and lets their voices tell their stories, including some of the tougher moments, when the kids ...more
Jun 05, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is out of print but the photos within it are absolutely some of the strongest visual memories from my childhood. The writing is excellent and the young girl is interesting and exciting to learn about. Krementz wrote several "A Very Young...." books and I would recommend any of them!
Pindari N.
Mar 06, 2009 Pindari N. rated it it was amazing
I love dance, so this book was an amazing experience for me. The photography is beautiful, and I love watching the life of a talented young girl as she takes classes at Julliard and performs in the nutcracker. Jill Krementz also wrote A very young Circus flyer (amazing), a very young actress (not so good), a very young gymnast (wow. this was good), a very young gardener(…I haven't read it, but–um…), a very young skier (I just ordered it), a very young skater (same here), and a very young muscisi ...more
E.C. McCarthy
Mar 01, 2014 E.C. McCarthy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ideal-bookshelf
I was obsessed with this book as a young dancer. I must have read it a thousand times. I haven't seen a copy in decades and I can still remember the photographs, and the tense moments of performance (she threw her slipper! It landed in the orchestra pit!) It's an unparalleled book, from what I can tell. Nothing I've read since comes close to showing the dedication it takes to perform in a professional ballet, and the stresses and rewards of dancing.
Elisa Clawson
Feb 20, 2008 Elisa Clawson rated it it was amazing
I discovered this series in my public library as a child and have always loved them all.
Jun 27, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I loved revisiting this childhood favorite.
Mar 19, 2017 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
My daughter brought this book home to look at the pictures, but I ended up reading it-totally engrossed! It's super good! About how this little girl is a dancer and ice skater, and how she fits in school, what her schedule is like, etc. Very interesting.
Rachel Denny
Title: A Very Young Dancer
Author: Jill Krementz
Genre: Photographic Essay
Theme(s): Dance
Opening line/sentence: I don’t know if I want to be a dancer when I grow up - or if I want to do something with horses.
Brief Book Summary: This book follows the story of a young ballet dancer. It takes you through different scenes and things that she does as a ballet dancer.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Not Professional, Jessica: I was very taken as a balletomane kid with this book-length photoessay a
Beautiful book. Lovely photographs.

I was curious, so I looked up what happened to Stephanie.

I felt sad to read that she didn't become a classical ballerina - but it sounds like ballet as a profession wasn't for her. It was really hard for her to tell people that she was asked by the ASB to leave, so she told them that she quit voluntarily.

I guess this shows you how hard it is to make it in ballet. The unpleasantness of it, sometimes.

It sounds like Stepha
Katy Jane
Apr 29, 2015 Katy Jane rated it it was amazing
1. I really loved this book. I learned about it from another ballet graphic novel called To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel.
2. The black and white photos were breathtaking. Paired with Stephanie's strong black eyebrows, the pictures popped.
3. I liked the inside story of ballet from a child's point of view.
4. Before I read this book I searched online for information about Stephanie now and found a good article:
5. I'm new to learning about ballet so I'm sta
Sep 20, 2015 Andrea rated it it was amazing
A beautiful children's book that I received when I was in my first Nutcracker with Boston Ballet at age 11. It captured the same child's eye view of professional stage performance I had come to know from behind the scenes -- from the audition and rehearsal process, to the butterflies on opening night. I would highly recommend this for a young (or still young at heart) dancer in your life. (less)
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Oct 06, 2008 Jody rated it it was amazing
I adored this book as a young girl. It was always so inspiring to me. The author does a wonderful job of telling a young girls story and aspirations to become a ballerina. I have read all the "a very young" books by Jill Krementz. Although they were written in the 70-80's I highly reccommend them to young children.
Jun 04, 2010 Audrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ballet lovers and people who have been through similar experiences
Recommended to Audrey by: Hadley
This book was pretty interesting. It was mostly pictures, but I think it was cool to see the adventure of Stephanie, a real girl in the seventies who is going to be Mary in the New York City Ballet Nutcracker. The pictures are amazing, and I like how they really capture the SAB life in this book.

This book is a light and easy read, but reccomend it.
May 22, 2007 kira rated it it was amazing
As a child I would check this book out of our town library at least once a month. Occasionally I'd settle for A VERY YOUNG GYMNAST, but as a scrawny ballet-obsessed little girl, this was by far my favorite book. I wanted to BE this girl-- but poring over the pages of Krementz's gorgeous behind-the-scenes photos was the next best thing.
Jan 12, 2014 Madison rated it really liked it
When I was a young girl, this was one of my favorite books to order from the library. I loved how the story followed the life of a real, young girl around my age. Also, the large pictures made the reading experience even more vivid and exciting. :)
Feb 11, 2008 Terri rated it it was amazing
I was just obsessed with this book when I was a kid. The photography is great and it totally captured my imagination. I'm sure some of my love of art and cities came from my connection with this book.
Dec 02, 2007 Tiffany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids wishing to be dancers
Shelves: kiddies, dance
I don't remember much about this book (My goodness! I read it 20 years ago! Oh, how time flies), but I do remember being a young dancer and liking the pictures of dancers. And really, when you're a kid who likes dance or who wants to be a dancer, it's really all about the pictures anyway.
Oct 16, 2008 Becca rated it it was amazing
One of my top three favorite books as a child. I think I checked this out from the library at least ten times a year.
Jun 27, 2016 Hayley rated it really liked it
I think I read this back in primary school when I was obsessed with ballerinas. Beautiful photographs.
Oct 07, 2014 RCW rated it it was amazing
A childhood favorite, even though I wasn't a dancer. Fascinating.
Kitty Tomlinson
Dec 26, 2011 Kitty Tomlinson rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Tells the true story of a young ballerina, Stephanie, who dances the part of Mary in the Nutcracker for the School of American Ballet.
Jan 11, 2012 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood-faves
This was probably one of my favorite books when I was in grade school. I checked this one and A Very Young Gymnast out over and over and over. Ahhh...memories!
Nov 20, 2011 Nezka rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I remember this book well--and here's an interesting story:
Elizabeth Walter
May 09, 2016 Elizabeth Walter rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
I *loved* this book as a child, and it held up really well 35 years later!
Apr 13, 2011 Stefanie rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2013 BMR, MSW, LSW rated it it was amazing
I was obsessed with this book when it came out. I'd check it out from the school library constantly.
Jan 19, 2010 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely my most favorite book from childhood.
If I could find a copy for less than $100 bucks, I'd definitely buy it.
Apr 19, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
Didn't like this as much as the one about the gymnast but that's most likely because I was more interested in gymnastic than dancing.
Jun 23, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ballet
An excellent look into the life of a young ballet student. Lots of wonderful photos.
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