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Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas

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When eleven-year-old Kiki MacAdoo and her talented older sister go to Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer, they ignore the brochure’s mysterious warning that “ballets come alive” in the nearby forest.

But after her sister disappears, it’s up to Kiki to brave the woods and save her sister from the ghost sylphs that dance young girls to their deaths. As Kiki unlocks the mysteries of Mount Faylinn, the ballet of the ghost sylphs, Giselle, simultaneously unfolds, sending Kiki on the adventure of a lifetime.

204 pages, Paperback

First published August 4, 2020

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Colette Sewall

1 book9 followers

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5 stars
28 (53%)
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14 (26%)
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10 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2021
This is a middle grade book. The main character is Kiki, and she goes Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer where weird things starts happening. I really had very high hopes for this book because of all the five stars ratings, but I found this book just ok. I really wanted to love it, but it just fell short. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christi M.
345 reviews55 followers
July 9, 2020
After having a little trouble at the beginning, I found this to be an adorable story about a young girl saving her sister from ghost sylphs who lure young ballerinas to their death.

Kiki isn’t a natural ballerina like her sister is, but it is something she enjoys. While their father is away at a archaeological dig, both girls attend a dance conservatory at Mount Faylinn. Set next to the conservatory is a mysterious forest which the teachers warn them not to enter. Of course, Kiki does and begins to learn about its inhabitants – the fairy folk as well as the sylphs, who dance the ballet Giselle.

I will admit my struggle at the beginning was due to verb tense. After reading book after book that use a specific verb tense it took a little adjustment on my part to settle in to this one’s style. (Example of the difference “He smiles at her” vs “He smiled at her”) But once I did I found I quite enjoyed the story. The relationship between Kiki and her sister as well as Oliver (a boy who lives nearby) were both heart-warming with a positive, uplifting feel to it. Although there are ghosts and tense moments at the end, the bond between sisters and friends won out.

Using the Giselle ballet was a unique and perfect choice for this ghostly story. Most kids won’t be as familiar with it as the Nutcracker, but once they learn about this ghost-filled ballet they’ll come to appreciate it.

General themes include acknowledging and accepting that not everyone is perfect at everything, jealousy, greed, and sisterly bonds.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Owl Hollow Press for the advanced reader story and opportunity to provide an honest review.
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,409 reviews580 followers
July 25, 2020
I loved the concept for this, but it felt like the author tried to pack far too much into far too few pages.
I would have loved if this had been made into a graphic novel instead.
The descriptions of Kiki's sketches and all the magical scenes would have translated beautifully in a graphic format.
Thanks to NetGalley & Owl Hollow Press for my DRC.
Profile Image for oohlalabooks.
777 reviews164 followers
July 7, 2020
I’m intrigued with the cover and blurb, glad I picked it up! MC Kiki Macadoo and her sister, Alison, attend the Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer. They ignore the mysterious warning on the brochure that ballets come alive in the nearby. Alison disappears and it’s up to Kiki to brave the woods and save her sister from the ghost sylphs that dance young girls to their deaths.
As Kiki unlocks the mysteries of Mount Faylinn, the ballet of the ghost sylphs, Giselle, simultaneously unfolds, sending Kiki on the adventure of a lifetime. Kiki is a brave & determined eleven yr old, great for young readers to admire. It’s a quick and entertaining read! Thank you to Owl Hollow Press and NetGalley for an ebook ARC. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Karah Sutton.
Author 2 books118 followers
July 14, 2020
As someone who did ballet from age 8 to 18, this is the perfect book for my middle grade self. With loving references to my all-time favorite ballet Giselle, as well as a loving sisterly relationship and a touch of spooky magic, this was such a a joy to read.
Profile Image for Amanda Evans.
Author 22 books107 followers
May 26, 2020
This book is everything a middle grade book should be. Adventure, mystery, and a character that resembles that of a real twelve-year-old. Kiki is a typical twelve-year-old, seeing all her flaws and not paying attention to the things that make her unique. She wants to be like her older sister Alison and a 3 week stay at Faylinn ballet school brings her real strength and courage to life.

This book was a joy to read, the writing was superb and it flowed effortlessly onto the page. As a reader, I was drawn into the story right from the beginning and I thought the emotions that Kiki displayed and faced on her adventure were really well done. I loved her uniqueness and the way she created her own words.

Faylinn is not what it seems and weird things happen before Kiki even leaves her house. The promise of mystery and adventure had me turning the pages and I loved how the ballet school came to life with vivid descriptions that were both eerie and magical. I felt Kiki's emotions as she struggled to fit in and her disappointment at not being as balanced and coordinated as the other children.

Oliver was another excellent character and as he and Kiki explored the mystery of Faylinn and set out to protect the school and the students, I couldn't stop reading. The Willis were dangerous and cunning and Kiki fought all her fears to take them on.

I loved the theme of family that ran throughout the story and even found myself tearing up at the end. This book reminded me of why I fell in love with reading at such an early age and how any story told well can resonate with a reader of any age. I think all 10 to 12 year old girls will love this story and find parts of themselves in it too.

A big thank you to Owl Hollow Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this beautifully written, action packed, spooky tale.
Profile Image for Nick Lewis.
1 review
December 10, 2022
This amazing middle grade is everything I was expecting including the stunning cover. I loved all of the magical elements about the story, from the fairies that dwell within the dark forest to the ghost sylphs that rise from their graves to entice new victims. The wonderful tale of a family without a mother is woven throughout the story and is heartwarming. It is simply a great and delightful read! Young girls that study ballet will especially enjoy this fantasy. Can't wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for Kristiana Y. Sfirlea.
Author 7 books49 followers
July 19, 2020
From the gorgeous cover to the unforgettable title, Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas promises a captivating story that does not disappoint!

Fairies, a dance school, dangerous legends, and a variety of ghostly foes, this book has so many intriguing elements that knit together into a delightfully cozy story to curl up with before bed. (If you don't mind a few nightmares. 😉)

What really captured my heart about this story was the relationship between Kiki and her big sister Alison. I am a SUCKER for sister stories, and I loved how real and deep and genuine their relationship was. Truly the backbone of the story, which I wasn't expecting! The author won me over completely with her underlying message of family love - something I am SO passionate about. This world is bombarded with messages of how romantic love is the most important love of all, something you can't live without. The villain of Kiki MacAdoo sums up this viewpoint perfectly with her quote:

“A family’s love isn’t enough—theirs is a love of obligation. Only the romantic love of your true soulmate makes life worth living.”

But Kiki and Alison dismantle these words with their amazing love and sacrifice for each other. And it delivers a powerful blow to many of the unhealthy relationship standards featured in today's entertainment.

Lastly, I was in love with the spookiness of this story. The graveyard ballerinas are, of course, the first thing that comes to mind, but there's also the Tree of Decaying Dreams and all of its creepy, rotting slippers, and the gruesome discover at the bottom of the lake. Grab a blankie for this book!

Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas is going to have a special place in my heart and on my book shelf.
Profile Image for Deanna | thecomfyreader.
99 reviews11 followers
July 30, 2020
Kiki MacAdoo is such a cute girl who loves ballet but just isn't that good at it. That aspect of the story is so relatable haha. I'm sure every single kid has tried a sport and LOVED it but just wasn't good but kept trying anyways. I loved how relatable Kiki was. I'm an adult now but Kiki reminded me of myself as a child and that really connected me to her!

I enjoyed her sister as well. I liked how the author described their relationship. It was real and something that anyone with a sibling would understand. The emphasis placed on family was great and I loved the dad in the story. He was so supportive and just a special person who had a really strong bond with his daughters!

As for the story - I enjoyed it! I thought it was really cute and fun. I would have been spooked out if I was a kid reading this so I'd say it was well written and had a lot of really fun aspects like magic, ghosts, and faeries. I loved how curious Kiki was throughout the story. She just needed to know what was happening in that forest and of course this leads her into trouble. She was so innocent though and as kids do, she just so openly accepts the secrets of the forest and I really liked that.

The reason I'm giving this book 3 stars even though I enjoyed the story is because it was rushed and at times I felt there wasn't enough information. The book is short (under 200 pages) and while the story was entertaining and the characters were fine, I just felt too much was crammed into a short book. It took away from the overall magical feel of the story and it just kind of fell flat for me because of it.

I do think this is a good middle grade and like I said, I was entertained. So I would say to read this if the synopsis is interesting to you! However, just be prepared for a short read with a lot of stuff crammed in it.
Profile Image for Darby Karchut.
Author 19 books254 followers
July 9, 2020
What a delight from start to finish! Ballet, mythology, sisterhood, the right amount of creep, and a first crush - yup, this story pushed all my bookish buttons. I even learned more about the challenges of ballet. Bravo to the author on her debut novel!
Profile Image for Lucretia.
Author 44 books109 followers
June 15, 2020
This adorable fantasy has everything a middle grade reader would want. I love the ballet theme, being in ballet lessons as a little girl holds so many found memories for me. Of course my lesson weren't in such a cool setting. The school/castle was fantastic and so easy to imagine. Kiki is a great main character, who really embodies what it is like to be a girl that age with all of the awkward moments, and adventure. I also thought Oliver added a lot to the story. My very favorite parts were in the woods and with the magical aspects. They were very creative and well described. Love love love the Graveyard Ballerinas themselves too. I was also caught off guard by the emotions that struck me in certain places, especially at the end.

Middle grade readers should adore this, as will adults who are young at heart.
Profile Image for Josh.
Author 1 book76 followers
June 5, 2020
“The forest holds its own rules. Nothing acts the way it should. If you go to the other side, you may come back changed—if you come back at all.”

With this warning, 11-year-old Kiki MacAdoo is introduced to the dangers lurking in the woods beyond the Dance Conservatory of Mount Faylinn, a turn-of-the-century mountaintop castle turned dance school where she’ll be attending summer camp with her older sister Alison. Naturally, it’s not long before Kiki finds herself in those dark woods, and the dangers quickly come to life.

I really enjoyed this middle grade novel, which is deftly told and full of engaging, well-rounded characters, particularly Kiki and her sister Alison. The remote ballet school in a mountaintop castle is a character unto itself, too, and there were some definite Hogwarts vibes at work that made me smile as I read. The supernatural elements here work well, too. Knowledge of dance in general or ballet in particular is not required to understand or appreciate this story. (I certainly don’t have much in that regard and never felt lost or disoriented.)

All told, a stirring middle grade debut with strong characters and a fantastic plot. Five stars!
Profile Image for Heather Meyer.
51 reviews20 followers
June 6, 2020
Book Review: Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas by Colette Sewall
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5 Stars
Thank you to @netgalley and @owlhollowpress for the eARC of this story!

I was super excited to have the opportunity to review this book because it's about a young ballerina, and my daughter desperately wants to become a ballerina.
Kiki MacAdoo, and her sister Alison, are off to a three week summer ballet program. Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory is nestled amongst a small town and enchanted wood, where it is rumored that ballets come to life.
Kiki befriends a local, named Oliver, who introduces her to the magical world hidden within the woods, while also warning her of the dangers it holds.

Sewall has created a magical world of fairies, Willa the wisps, and ballerinas. This enchanting take is perfect for young readers that love dance and magic. I will definitely be getting this for my daughter.

Things to note: Kiki is 12 and Alison turns 16. They are dealing with the death of their mother. There is some pretty intense danger, magic/ alchemy in the culminating scene.
Profile Image for Abi.
1,929 reviews
May 21, 2020
This was quite a good book! I really liked Kiki, Oliver, and the general story, which involved the wilis and Kiki's older sister, Alison. This book was interesting and heartfelt, with a nice story which was wrapped up well by the end. It left room for a sequel, but the plot of this book was all tied up, no worries! I picked this book up for the ballet and the magical creatures, but it was also entertaining in many other ways, and Kiki, the main character, grew on me a lot. The book was also a very quick read, that I finished in a couple of hours over one day. Definitely recommended! Cute middle grade fantasy/ballet novel. Kiki and Oliver were adorable, btw! 4 stars. I'll be on the lookout for a sequel!
Profile Image for Laura Stegman.
Author 1 book8 followers
June 3, 2020
Whether you've attended ballet classes or not, you'll enjoy Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas, this fanciful story by Colette Sewall about 12-year-old Kiki, who spends three action-packed and magic-filled weeks at Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory (a fancy ballet camp). While Alison, Kiki's older sister, concentrates on her craft (while brooding about her unfaithful boyfriend back home), Kiki is stuck in the equivalent of a class for remedial dancers. As she befriends a wild cast of characters, she discovers that Faylinn's surroundings are not what they seem. The spectacular, suspenseful climax takes place in a spooky forest among a pack of gruesome graveyard ballerinas where Kiki discovers that sisterly love thwarts evil. Recommended!
Profile Image for Sahara.
1 review
December 8, 2022
This is a great middle grade fantasy tale! The cover is fantastic and so is the story! It is very entertaining and fun to read. It concerns the adventures of Kiki MacAdoo and her friend Oliver Crumb (love those names!) at a mysterious ballet school where ghost dancers come to life and lure brokenhearted dancers to join them in their graves! Kiki must save her older sister Alison from their spell before she dances with them for all eternity. A must read for all ballet lovers young and old! The pace and voices are perfect! Definitely recommended!
Profile Image for Lisa Schmid.
Author 3 books19 followers
June 8, 2020
A magical adventure that leaps off the page and into your heart!
Profile Image for Heather.
Author 3 books191 followers
June 16, 2020
Spooky and sweet and fantastically fun, Kiki dances onto the page, delightfully entertaining until her last-chapter bow.
Profile Image for Candice.
Author 12 books20 followers
July 16, 2020
This middle grade had me at ‘graveyard ballerinas’. The title immediately caught my attention. Kiki and her sister Alison travel to this creepy old mansion in the middle of nowhere for summer dance camp and are immediately told the woods and being out after dark is off-limits. Kiki needs glasses to see clearly, but oddly, sees things that shouldn’t be there when she’s not wearing them. She learns she has ‘ghost eyes’ and is able to see the ghostly realm, something that comes in handy when her broken-hearted sister disappears over the Forbidden Lake into the Wilis Mound graveyard.

It’s a great mix of the Giselle ballet, Irish folklore, believing in your own strengths, and the power of sisters.
Profile Image for Shannon Rochester.
829 reviews71 followers
July 11, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley and Owl Hollow Press for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book because it had a cute cover and every now and then, I really like a good middle grade book with some personal growth in it. Kiki is the main character and it is mostly her growth we see. She and her sister are getting ready to go to a dance conservatory while their dad is off at an archaeological dig and while Kiki LOVES to dance, she is not a natural at it like her sister is. As she is heading out the door, she sees the brochure about the camp and there is something magical about it...LITERALLY. She thinks it was just her mind playing tricks on her and puts it out of her head. Once they arrive and Kiki confirms her fears that she is still not very good at dancing, she wanders into a forest that the kids have specifically been told not to go to. There, she discovers that fairies are real and there IS magic involved with this place. She befriends Oliver who happens to live in the forest and he teaches her about the fairies and other magical beings that coexist there...including ghosts of ballerinas past. There is a story that ballerinas who fall in love and have their heart broken will get taken by these ghosts and added to their collection...and unfortunately her sister has her heart broken while they are there. So begins the fight to save her. I loved that the characters were each true to their age and might be someone I could meet out on the street..i loved that they showed some character growth in that they had to put others over themselves at times...I loved that even though Kiki knew she wasn't as good as most of the girls, she never let jealousy come between them and she never let let it stop her from doing something she enjoyed.

Profile Image for Joey Susan.
578 reviews37 followers
June 26, 2020
Thank you so much to NetGalley and OwlPress for having this e-arc available to read and review.

What a fascinating book, I loved the concept of ghostly ballerinas which is why I had to read this, but it was so much more than that once you start reading it.

I loved that the characters were realistic to their ages and maturity, that each one was flawed, in particular our protagonist Kiki. She loved ballet but wasn’t that great at it yet, but she worked on it and that’s great that the book showed that.

Kiki and her sister Alison go away for 3 weeks to ballet summer camp. The conservatory is built around a unique land filled with fairies, mischievous squirrels and so much more. What lurks deep in the woods at night though are the spirits of the dead and heartbroken ballerinas.

I really loved how this story took you on a really fun adventure, you had a mystery to solve from the first chapter until the very end and it was so much fun. I loved the character developments that took place whilst these adventures were happening. I was hoping for more of a horror theme based on the
cover and description but regardless it was still a great read.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this, it had so much going on in it, the characters were all thought out, the storyline was detailed and incredibly well written and well paced out. It was highly enjoyable and so much fun.
Profile Image for Angela.
75 reviews
July 4, 2020
I'm usually looking for books ballet relate because I love to promoting reading in my students.
I read ”kiki McAdoo and the graveyard ballerinas” thanks to NetGalley. I really enjoyed this book. It's a young girls' book with fantasy and mystery around the life of this aspiring ballerina and her sister. I was caught by the story since the beginning. I'm pretty sure every reader who wants a quick and joyful reading it would find this book perfect, not only girls, adults would find in this book a delightful and extraordinary reading.
Profile Image for Yannie.
81 reviews4 followers
June 22, 2020
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for ARC of this book.

I love Kiki. I was never bored reading this story though I'm don't have much knowledge about ballet or any dance. The fantasy part excites me and I admire Kiki for being able to face her fears. I also love how the writer showed what true love can do. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm sure, readers of all ages will love it!
Profile Image for Alisha.
238 reviews11 followers
July 9, 2020
I thought this story was well written and I liked the characters. It is a very sweet story centered around sisterly love. It was upbeat with no boring or slow parts. I really think Middle Schoolers will love this book and not be able to put it down. I really enjoyed it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc in return for an honest review!
Profile Image for Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader).
109 reviews669 followers
August 28, 2020
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

Eleven-year-old Kiki MacAdoo is excited (and a little nervous) to spend three weeks at the Conservatory of Mount Faylinn, a prestigious ballet academy, with her accomplished sixteen-year-old sister, Alison. After all, Alison got her first pair of pointe shoes when she was twelve, and Kiki hopes that with some extra instruction and improvement, she’ll soon earn a pair of pointe shoes of her very own. As Kiki prepares for their trip, however, it quickly becomes clear that there’s more to the Conservatory than initially meets the eye. From a cryptic warning – “Be aware: Ballets come to life at the Conservatory of Mount Faylinn” – to rumours that a magical forest surrounds the property, Kiki will learn more than how to master a triple pirouette as she, along with her new friend, Oliver, discover the secrets of the Conservatory. But when one of those secrets threatens her sister, Kiki will have to use all of her hope, heart and daring to save Alison from the danger the lurks within the forest and within all of us.

There’s a great deal to love about Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas, beginning with the novel’s bespectacled, eponymous protagonist. It’s clear that Kiki is still processing the loss of her mother, who died prior to the events of this novel, but this never prevents her from caring deeply about those in her life. This is particularly evident in the relationship between Kiki and her older sister, Alison. Alison has done her best to look after Kiki following the death of their mother, but it’s clear this care and concern is mutual. Kiki is particularly worried about Alison’s relationship with Dylan, a boy who monopolizes Alison’s attention and treats her poorly, ignoring her calls and texts and being generally unsupportive. While the malevolent spirits outside the Conservatory whisper to Kiki that “A family’s love isn’t enough – theirs is a love of obligation. Only the romantic love of your true soulmate makes life worth living.”, it’s ultimately the love and sisterly bond the two share that helps Kiki save Alison’s life.

As an individual Kiki is equally compelling. She doesn’t have the same natural ability in dance as her sister and is eventually placed in the most basic classes at the Conservatory with girls younger and less experienced than herself. Kiki struggles to master many of the positions and movements being taught, and as a result feels left out and envious of those who improve at a faster rate and who appear more comfortable and confident. Despite this, Kiki never stops pushing herself and is determined to work hard to correct her mistakes and earn the pointe shoes she dreams of one day obtaining. Moments like these remind readers that you needn’t be perfect at something to enjoy doing it, and that with hard work and practice one can continue to learn and grow.

The world of Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas offers a variety of elements that should appeal to a a broad spectrum of readers. In the novel, Colette Sewall combines contemporary issues like grief and coming-of-age with the fantastical, as Kiki and Oliver discover everything from magical fairies to a mischievous squirrel in the mysterious forest that surrounds the Conservatory. Readers interested in a few scares will also find a lot to love here, as the author is unafraid to delve into what goes bump in the night, as Kiki escapes an open grave and confronts the terrifying ghost sylphs that haunt the graveyard outside the dance academy and hang rotting, black ballet slippers from the Tree of Decayed Dreams. Readers who have a passion for dance will find a friend in Kiki, though those unfamiliar with the pastime will not feel left out or confused. My only wish is that the novel could have been longer or separated into a duology, to allow the author more space to explore these and other aspects of the story in greater detail and at a more leisurely pace.

With Halloween on the horizon, Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas would make the perfect choice for middle grade readers eager to get into the spirit of the season. I would happily follow the inquisitive, resilient and caring Kiki MacAdoo on another adventure in the future!
July 17, 2020
3.5 stars

Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas is a charming and spooky story about love, bravery, and learning to believe in yourself. Eleven-year-old Kiki and her sixteen-year-old sister Alison are spending three weeks at the illustrious—and mysterious—Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory. After receiving a cryptic invitation that may or may not be written in magical ink, Kiki discovers that the woods around the conservatory contain all kinds of creatures...some of whom are quite dangerous, especially after midnight. Kiki explores the forest with a new friend and learns to navigate some of the rules of magic, and when Alison gets drawn into a deadly dance in the woods, Kiki must use what she's learned to save her sister.

The woods around the conservatory are eerie and fascinating. There are fairies, monstrous birds, ghosts, a curiously ill-tempered squirrel, and many other creatures that roam the forest at night. I always appreciate stories that emphasize fairy etiquette, and Kiki learns the hard way how to interact with the good folk. The book suggests that there are a lot more stories to tell at Mount Faylinn...now that Kiki is on the fairies' good side (though the jury's still out on that squirrel), hopefully we can see further adventures and learn about more of the magical beasties that lurk in the woods.

I also appreciated the book's emphasis on hard work and personal improvement. Alison is a ballet prodigy, while Kiki is a passionate but much less advanced dancer. People have told the long, willowy Alison her whole life that she looks like she was born to be a ballerina, but Kiki—with her bowlegs and short stature—has never been told anything of the kind, even though she desperately wants to be a great ballerina. As a dancer who absolutely does not have a dancer's build, I really related to Kiki's insecurities as she struggles with form, flexibility, and hopelessness in the face of what feels like an impossible dream. But her teachers tell her that the only person she needs to compare herself to is herself: as long as you're trying your best to improve, you're winning.

I do have one issue with the book, though. All of the characters are assumed white, and the ballet conservatory dress code is black leotards and pink tights only. Throughout the book, pointe shoes are described as being pink and only pink, as if any other option were unthinkable. Ballet tights and shoes are usually (though not always) flesh-colored, and by assuming that every single person's flesh is a pale pink tone, the book excludes dancers with darker skin. Dancewear companies are finally offering clothing and shoes in wider ranges of colors, and I believe it's detrimental to young readers of color for the author to ignore that and assume pink as the default. Ballerinas of all races want—and deserve—to see themselves in stories. I would love to read a sequel to this book, but I hope that it would be more inclusive of non-white dancers.

Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas is an engaging, fun, and spooky middle grade novel that encourages kids to pursue their passions and believe that they can do incredible things. It emphasizes the importance of loyalty, friendship, family...and never angering a fairy. It just needs to address its lack of inclusivity to make sure that all readers feel like the inspirational themes are aimed at them.
Profile Image for David C. Salas.
8 reviews6 followers
August 16, 2020
3⭐ / 5

When Kiki MacAdoo and her talented older sister go to Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer, they ignore the brochure’s mysterious warning that “ballets come alive” in the nearby forest. But after her sister disappears, it’s up to Kiki to brave the woods and save her sister from the ghost sylphs that dance young girls to their deaths. Will Kiki be able to unlock the mysteries of Mount Faylinn and rescue her sister?

This middle grade thriller has a different approach that seeks to unite the delicacy of ballet with the suspense of haunted graveyards. Its cover design is simple, but it manages to portray the main character appropriately. The characters are interesting, although their decision-making ability is questionable. Towards the middle of the book, the story takes two different directions and it tries to explain more plots than I would have liked.
This book has the suspense elements necessary to keep the young reader alert and entertained in a mysterious setting. Even some adults might enjoy this suspense.

The value of family, friendship and perseverance is addressed as central elements of this literary work. I recommend this book for readers over the age of 10 who enjoy thrillers or stories related to ballet practice.

I want to thank Owl Holllow Press for providing me with a copy of this book via Netgalley so I can share my honest opinion about it.

"Doing what you’re meant to do makes you shine from the inside"
Profile Image for Soup.
289 reviews
July 18, 2020
Entertaining middle grade novel that combines mystery, fantasy, and elements of horror. 11 year old Kiki is off to ballet camp with her older (and much more talented) sister in upstate New York. However the camp is quickly revealed to house more than ballerinas as fairies, will-o-the-wisps, monsters, murderous ghosts, and dark spirits begin to appear in ever increasing numbers. The big baddies of this book are ghost slyphs who lure heart sick campers (and their cheating boyfriends) to their deaths. Far more of the book is dedicated to Kiki's adjustment to camp, her laments about her poor ballet skills, and her grief for her recently deceased mother than the supernatural mystery, so the resulting shift into horror and genuinely scary content is abrupt and startling. Sensitive readers may wish to avoid this book (or at least read it during daylight hours). Familiarity with or interest in ballet is not needed. The final chapter appears to be setting up for a future series of haunted ballet tales.
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