By: Megan Atwood
Publisher: Darby Creek
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2013
Madame Puant was on Kayle’s case big time. No, she wasn’t a great dancer like Madeline or Ophelia, but she sure was better than a lot of them at Dario. When she went home to Connecticut on a break, it was just that ... a break. Unlike her high-achieving brothers, she wasn’t going to knock herself out. No practicing for her. On second thought, it might have been a good idea to practice a little because she was flopping all over the place. “No, Kayley! Your turnout is simply poor!” ranted the Madame. Oh, please! The only one who was sympathetic was Madeleine who exclaimed, “Everyone has bad days.” Yeah, and Kayley was going to have a few more.
It was a real shock when Madame Puant clunked her from the godmother scenes. Madeleine was hot and “two fouettés, an arabesque that lasted forever, bourrés” and Kayley was sent back to the corps. Madeleine was nice, but not that nice and she was even stealing her best friend, Ophelia, away from her. The Dario Quincy Academy of Dance just wasn’t working out for Kayley this year. The Madame put a newbie in her place and the only way she would ever get it back was to “Eat, breathe, and live ballet.” Kayley could check out the creepy library to read up on technique and artists, but the only thing she found was a dusty old history of the academy.
Dorothy Quincy, the wife of the founder, died suddenly during a performance of ‘Giselle.’ Her lucky pointe shoes had vanished and the borrowed ones brought her bad luck. They reappeared after she died and only brought amazingly good fortune to her husband. Apparently those “shoes imparted good luck on anyone who had them in their possession.” They were in a display case in the school. Kayley just had to have them! They would bring her luck and she’d get her coveted position back. Soon the shoes were hers and “that electric feeling came back.” Something else soon came back right along with it when strange and evil things began to happen right after the shoes were discovered missing. Had Kayley unleashed some evil force that would wreak havoc on the academy?
This is a creepy new tale at the Dario Quincy Academy of Dance young readers will love. This tale has just the right amount of mysterious creep factor to keep readers turning those pages. The book is perfect for confident or reluctant readers who are just embarking on a quest for the eerie and unusual. This one focuses on one ballerina, Kayley, who’s in the foreground of the entire tale. In the first book in the series, Leaping at Shadows, we meet Madeleine and the rest of the gang. Dorothy Quincy’s most unusual pointe shoes and the evil they bring along with them will fascinate readers who love a bit of supernatural in their reading. It’s a quick, fun, high interest read for young readers, especially reluctant ones.
Quill says: Young readers who enjoy the weird factor in their books will definitely enjoy the Dario Quincy Academy of Dance series!