Dancing on the Inside


Children - Preteen
236 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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Author Biography

Glen C. Strathy started writing stories when he was 11 years old and too shy to have a life. He eventually found a life when he started acting in community theatre and met other writers, actors, dancers, and artists. He discovered that the best thing about performing arts (and other arts too) is that they give people more freedom to be who they want to be. After spending time as an actor, teacher, and freelance writer, he returned to his first love, fiction and wrote Dancing on the Inside, a novel for ages 9-12.

Glen C. Strathy earned an M.A. in English from the University of Western Ontario, and graduated from the Artist in Community Education program at Queen's University, Kingston. He co-authored two non-fiction books and belongs to the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). His website www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com provides advice to budding authors.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite

Jenny Spark fell in love with ballet after her grandparents sent her a DVD of Swan Lake. Even though she had never seen a live ballet or met a dancer she longed to be a part of that world. She convinces her mother to allow her to enroll in ballet class at the "Kingston Ballet School." The thing is, Jenny is painfully shy and can't imagine ever dancing in front of anyone let alone participate in a class, so she comes up with a plan to just observe in class, taking notes that she can use at home to practice on her own. When Jenny's parents learn what she has done, they pull her out of dance class, but Jenny's determination has her trying to figure out a way to continue observing class. Can she come up with a plan that will allow her to continue to be a part of her class, and will she ever be able to overcome her shyness to achieve her dreams?

The author writes with such clarity and insight about the struggles of dealing with self confidence, something that many people struggle with. Even though this book is geared toward teen girls it speaks to anyone who struggles with shyness, and the inability to make friends or have confidence in themselves. Jenny was so easy to connect with. The struggles she had in making friends made her seem so real, and I loved when she finally became friends with Ara, who was actually the total opposite of Jenny which was exactly what Jenny needed. It was so inspiring to watch Jenny slowly grow and change, and that was something else that made this book seem so realistic; instead of having Jenny just change overnight it was a slow ongoing process, with the self doubt she had rearing its ugly head again and again.

Except for a couple of minor editing issues this story is perfect. The author gives us compelling characters who are so easy to connect to, and because of the issues Jenny struggles with, many will be able to relate to the story, especially teen girls. A story that is motivational as well as inspiring, this book is great for anyone who struggles with shyness or self doubt.