Dancing in the Wings

by Debbie Allen
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

I liked this book because I could identify with it. I am tall and for the longest time I disliked my height...until I discovered basketball. Then, being tall became a GOOD thing. The same is true for the main character, Sassy, and her love for ballet. This is a story about perseverance. She is encouraged to "make her mark." Despite ridicule about her long legs and big feet, Sassy works hard and no longer has to dance in the wings, but is able to take center stage! My daughter loves this book, however, I find that I skip over some of the words because I prefer to avoid the name-calling that is exchanged between Sassy and her fellow dancers as well as between Sassy and her brother. My daughter is old enough to understand that it is not okay to call people names. However, my boys are not at that age yet. So, when reading to book to all my kids I do skip over some sentences. Overall, I really like the book and the message. I wish I would have read it when I was growing up and struggling with my height!