fennie's Reviews > Ten Cents a Dance

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
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Jan 19, 10

bookshelves: young-adult, historical-fiction, things-that-make-you-go-hmm
Read in January, 2010

the world of taxi dancers is something that i had never heard of before, but is something that i find very intriguing. these girls are paid to dance with men, and beyond that is where the drama ensues.

as is the case with most young adult novels, this story is about ruby's coming-of-age as she matures and grows. at the beginning, she is merely a wide-eyed naive little thing, but once she gets sucked into taxi dancing due to her love for jazz and dance [as well as a need to earn cash for her family:], she must learn quickly before she drowns in cattiness, manipulation, lust, even crime. and all the while she is trying to make life better for her mom and sister, betty, who is only a year younger than her.

the explicit racism in this novel somewhat disturbed me. it saddens me to think that not so long ago there was such separation in this country with each cultural group living in its own bubble. and it's not just between whites and blacks, whites and asians, there is also the racism between irish and polish, among others. and the vehemency in which some characters speak of other cultures is disheartening. while this is historically true of our nation's past, it makes me question racism today. is it really any different? maybe it's not as blatant anymore as interracial/cultural couples are quite prevalent in today's society, but that doesn't mean that it isn't lurking in the hearts of many.
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