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A Very Young Dancer
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A Very Young Dancer

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  319 ratings  ·  31 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 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Apr 04, 2014 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Susann
Love, love, love. I wish I had known about this when I was reading Lee Wyndham's Susie books, The Sisters Impossible, and others.
A childhood favorite, even though I wasn't a dancer. Fascinating.
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. :)
Jun 22, 2010 Audrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
Dec 02, 2007 Tiffany rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
I didn't read this because I was terribly interested in the lives of young dancers. I read it because Jill Krementz was married to Kurt Vonnegut, whom I loved.
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!
Thought the follow up story was interesting:
I remember constantly checking and re-checking this one from the library...I loved it.

There was an ice skating one that I loved as well....
Kitty Tomlinson
Tells the true story of a young ballerina, Stephanie, who dances the part of Mary in the Nutcracker for the School of American Ballet.
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.
I remember this book well--and here's an interesting story:
Definitely my most favorite book from childhood.
If I could find a copy for less than $100 bucks, I'd definitely buy it.
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.
I was obsessed with this book when it came out. I'd check it out from the school library constantly.
The pictures are marvellous! It was nice to know a little backstory before leafing through this pictorial.
Elisa Clawson
I discovered this series in my public library as a child and have always loved them all.
Beautiful photos. Great for young dancers, but also a beautiful book of NYCB and SAB.
ZOMG i love this book!
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