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Jones, Kari. Shimmy.

3Q * 3P * M * J * R

Jones, Kari. Shimmy. 144p. 978-1-4598-0764-8

Romanek, Trudee. Raising the Stakes. 160p. 978-1-4598-0779-2.

There are all types of dance competitions, from the exquisite moves in ballet to the heart-stomping rhythm of hip-hop, from the light steps of ballroom dancing to the pit-pat of tap dancing, but few have heard of dance competitions involving shimmying, more commonly called belly dancing. Lila's passion is to be a famous belly dancer. When she is chosen to be a part of Dana Sajalas prestigious shimmy dance team, Lila is thrilled for the chance of lifetime. Things do not go according to the way Lila wants, however. She is finding it hard to balance her grades, time with her friends, and be top-notch for the upcoming belly dance competition. Lila starts to wonder whether she has made the right choice when she gets advice from an unlikely source. This is a unique topic that, while interesting, may only get the interest of a select few readers. The subplots could have been better developed; however, the overall themes of the book stick out and will encourage reluctant readers, especially those interested in new topics, to keep going.

In Raising the Stakes, everything in Chloe's world is centered on Harrington Highs improv team and how they are going to win at nationals this year. The only problem is that Chloe is the only one who actually wants to go to nationals. Chloe wants to spend her life doing improv, but she does not want to see her weaknesses, to learn what she must about herself and others. Only during a disastrous performance and subsequent practice, does she learn what she must do and what she must say to her fellow team members and friends to move forward. The flow of this book is very smooth and transitions well between the various characters. Romanek provides great information through the characters on the subject of improv. While the reluctant reader will enjoy this book, it may attract other readers who are interested in this topic and may go the extra step in researching it.--Sherry Rampey.

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Author:Rampey, Sherry
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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