Ballet Shoes

by Noel Streatfeild
256 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by White Rose

Delightful story of friendship, family, and love. Not just for children.


Sylvia Brown's great uncle Matthew, called Gum, loves to collect fossils, but when an accident prevents him from being able to go on fossil hunts, he starts bringing home babies! Pauline, rescued from a sinking life boat; Petrova, brought from a hospital where her parents died; and Posy, whose mother could not afford her. Right after bringing home Posy, Gum goes off on a voyage, leaving enough money in the bank for Sylvia, the girls, and Nana their nurse to live off of for five years. When Gum doesn't come back, though, Sylvia has to take in boarders to make ends meet.

One of these boarders is a dance teacher at the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training run by Madame Fidolia. When Madame agrees to take the girls into her school, the girls learn much more than dancing and acting: they learn more things about themselves, and who they want to be, than they ever dreamed of.


Morals are very good. Sometimes the girls act a bit bratty or selfish, but they are always corrected by Sylvia or Nana.

Spiritual Content

It is mentioned that the girls go to church, and Pauline and Petrova are named after the apostles Peter and Paul.



Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



This is a wonderful story that just about anyone can relate to. Whether you've lived in financial strain, you're adopted, you've had sisters, or even just had dreams of what you've always wanted to do with your life. There is something for everyone in this book, and it is all presented in a way that teaches good morals and character while keeping your attention and putting a smile on your face.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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