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ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CHILDREN'S,  CONTEMPORARY,  FICTION,  MIDDLE GRADE,  NETGALLEY

BOOK REVIEW : KATARINA BALLERINA BY TILER PECK & KYLE HARRIS

TITLE : Katarina Ballerina

AUTHOR : Tiler Peck & Kyle Harris

GENRE : Middle-Grade, Children’s Fiction

FR RATING : 4 Stars

EXPECTED PUBLICATION : 5th May 2020

SYNOPSIS

A young girl lives out her big ballerina dreams in this graceful start to a new series from New York City Ballet principal dancer and international prima ballerina Tiler Peck and Broadway and television actor Kyle Harris.

Ten-year-old Katarina is a New York City girl through and through, but the buzz of the city drives her to feel that she is meant for more than her ordinary day to day routine. Her big dream? To become a prima ballerina.

With the help of a few new friends, Katarina finally puts on her first pair of ballet shoes and she’s more than determined to make it work. But her feet don’t quite move the way she would like them to, the twirls and spins make her dizzy, and her classmates aren’t exactly welcoming. When the head of the dance studio announces that there will be a competition to earn a spot in an upcoming international dance camp, Katarina knows this could be her big chance to make her dancer dreams come true. Does this tiny dancer have what it takes to stand out in the ballet world of blending in? 

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Aladdin for the ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Katarina Ballerina is written by Tiler Peck who is a professional Ballet dancer and the Broadway & TV actor Kyle Harris. Tiler Peck comes into the story as a character as well. The book is for young kids, middle graders wand the story is of a young girl Katarina. Katarina loves ballet and her love for ballet is the central theme of this book. Every day before going to school she goes to watch the shopfront where on a TV screen ballet dancers perform a beautiful piece. She decides to enter a competition in school and tries to learn ballet all by herself. She froze on stage while performing and then decides to ask her dad for ballet dance classes. Due to their financial situation, he was unable o provide proper support but he makes sure she gets to follow her passion. During this time she meets a fellow ballet dancer Sunny and they become fast friends. They help each other out and support one another. We follow the girls and their journey to achieve the entrance to dance camp.

The book was a fun read. The story was good. I loved the illustrations inside the book. They were cute and charming. The characters came from different backgrounds. The vulnerability of Katarina and how insecure she is of her hair and body affects her growth and the anxiety causes her to fail. There is also the positive outlook of the book and the encouragement and inspiration for young kids to follow their dream, work hard, and enjoy their passions is also a very prevalent theme in this book. I loved how the character changes her bias and lets go of herself from the anxiety she has been experiencing. Katarina and Sunny and their friendship will feel real and relatable to a lot of young kids. I loved how the authors used ballet as an example to talk about following one’s dreams and passions. The book reiterates the importance of perseverance and how hard work and the passion for the work will make oneself successful in their endeavors.

The book and the way the story is told from the 10 yr old Katarina makes it easy to follow her action and understand her as a character. I enjoyed the book and the messaging behind it. I gave the book 4 stars and want youngsters to check the book out. It is an adorable book for young kids and delivers honest advice for middle-graders. The book was fun and engaging and I really enjoyed it.

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