Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to

The Girl Who Wanted to Dance

By Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Haunting fairy tale is dark and confusing for younger kids.

The Girl Who Wanted to Dance Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

One can't help but wonder if the author of the book was so caught up in her romantic, fairy-tale tone that she missed the story's less-than-satisfying ending. It basically says that parents have a right to emotionally and physically leave their children if their needs are great. Instead of a conclusion that acknowledges and resolves Clara's abandonment, the "happy" ending is that Clara is left alone again only now with the understanding that to dance matters more than family ties; certainly not a message to send to kids whether their own families are intact or not.

Clara's losses are never really addressed. Better to read the book with a critical eye to the story and use it to discuss values around family obligations and explore ways we can meet our professional and personal goals without hurting the people we love the most.

Beautiful illustrations effectively convey the fairy tale tone of the book.

Book Details

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