Read Ballet Shoes: A Story of Three Children on the Stage by Noel Streatfeild Free Online
Book Title: Ballet Shoes: A Story of Three Children on the Stage|
The author of the book: Noel Streatfeild
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 492 KB
Edition: Penguin Books,
Date of issue: March 31st 2004
ISBN 13: 9780140300413
Read full description of the books Ballet Shoes: A Story of Three Children on the Stage:My mother doesn't like to read. She's just not that into it, never has been. I, on the other hand, read every day and have, ever since the age of 6. Imagine my surprise, as a 10 year old, when she gave me a copy of "Ballet Shoes" and told me it was her favorite book as a child. During this time, I was obsessed with C.S. Lewis and reading "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" for what felt like the 40th time. But, still, my mother had given me a book, so, the least I could do was read it, right?
I'm writing this review after re-reading "Ballet Shoes" yesterday. My friends Bill and Elaine have a four year old who I sometimes watch for them, and I was trying to think up creative alternatives to watching "Ratatouille" for the 17th time. So, I started rifling through my old books and the Fossil sisters literally fell into my lap. I read the first few pages, laughed more than I remembered laughing as a child when GUM says to his 16 year old neice Sylvia "I thought all women liked babies?" as he presents her an orphan he's recently rescued.
Like the best children's fiction, "Ballet Shoes" not only holds up well with age, but becomes a completely different book when you revisit it as an adult. The book was published sometime in the 1930's, and while mostly conservative, features two female professors who are unmarried and lived together. If a book published today featured characters like that, it would be all over the media and banished from some elementary schools. What is lovely about Streatfield's writing is that, as a child, it didn't even occur to me that it would be unusual for Dr. Jakes and Dr. Smith to live together and not be married. And as an adult? It matters even less. Dr. Jake's Shakespeare obsession and Dr. Smith's gentle nature are far more interesting as to what these women do when they're not teaching the Fossil sisters.
The last line of the book "If other girls had to be one of us, which would they choose?" was a question I pondered many a nights as I drifted off to sleep. Sweet, , people pleaser Pauline? Stubborn, pragmatic Petrova? Self involved, brilliant Posy? As a child, my answer was almost always Petrova, not wanting to seem conceited or over ambitious. But as an adult, I don't know that I could decide. I should read the book again before I made a decision.
Read information about the authorMary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel Streatfeild, was an author best known and loved for her children's books, including Ballet Shoes and Circus Shoes. She was born on Christmas Eve, 1895, the daughter of William Champion Streatfeild and Janet Venn and the second of six children to be born to the couple. Sister Ruth was the oldest, after Noel came Barbara, William ('Bill'), Joyce (who died of TB prior to her second birthday) and Richenda. Ruth and Noel attended Hastings and St. Leonard's Ladies' College in 1910. As an adult, she began theater work, and spent approximately 10 years in the theater.
During the Great War, in 1915 Noel worked first as a volunteer in a soldier's hospital kitchen near Eastbourne Vicarage and later produced two plays with her sister Ruth. When things took a turn for the worse on the Front in 1916 she moved to London and obtained a job making munitions in Woolwich Arsenal. At the end of the war in January 1919, Noel enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Art (later Royal Academy) in London.
In 1930, she began writing her first adult novel, The Whicharts, published in 1931. In June 1932, she was elected to membership of PEN. Early in 1936, Mabel Carey, children's editor of J. M. Dent and Sons, asks Noel to write a children's story about the theatre, which led to Noel completing Ballet Shoes in mid-1936. In 28 September 1936, when Ballet Shoes was published, it became an immediate best seller.
According to Angela Bull, Ballet Shoes was a reworked version of The Whicharts. Elder sister Ruth Gervis illustrated the book, which was published on the 28th September, 1936. At the time, the plot and general 'attitude' of the book was highly original, and destined to provide an outline for countless other ballet books down the years until this day. The first known book to be set at a stage school, the first ballet story to be set in London, the first to feature upper middle class society, the first to show the limits of amateurism and possibly the first to show children as self-reliant, able to survive without running to grownups when things went wrong.
In 1937, Noel traveled with Bertram Mills Circus to research The Circus is Coming (also known as Circus Shoes). She won the Carnegie gold medal in February 1939 for this book. In 1940, World War II began, and Noel began war-related work from 1940-1945. During this time, she wrote four adult novels, five children's books, nine romances, and innumerable articles and short stories. On May 10th, 1941, her flat was destroyed by a bomb. Shortly after WWII is over, in 1947, Noel traveled to America to research film studios for her book The Painted Garden. In 1949, she began delivering lectures on children's books. Between 1949 and 1953, her plays, The Bell Family radio serials played on the Children's Hour and were frequently voted top play of the year.
Early in 1960s, she decided to stop writing adult novels, but did write some autobiographical novels, such as A Vicarage Family in 1963. She also had written 12 romance novels under the pen name "Susan Scarlett." Her children's books number at least 58 titles. From July to December 1979, she suffered a series of small strokes and moved into a nursing home. In 1983, she received the honor Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). On 11 September 1986, she passed away in a nursing home.
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