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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Slip Jig Summer«

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Slip Jig Summer

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Fifteen-year-old Natalie is obsessed with ballet and plans to spend the entire summer in dance class with her two best friends. But when her mom gets a job out of town, Natalie gets shipped off to stay with cousins she barely knows.

Natalie is thrilled when her cousins invite her to join them at the local dance studio. But it turns out it's not a ballet class; it's Irish dance. Skeptical at first, Natalie is surprised to learn she really enjoys the new dance style and agrees to take part in an upcoming competition. But this new passion could result in Natalie having to leave her ballet dreams behind.

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"Slip Jig Summer offers a fun twist on the fish-out-of-water story by putting a ballerina in an Irish dance class. It's a short book with a fast-moving plot…familiar interpersonal issues, portrayed in an accessible storyline, will help lower-literacy readers move through the text easily…I enjoyed the fresh focus on dance and predict the novel will lead its readers to other dance novels (of which there are many). It's an energetic selection for high/low readers."

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"I love the opening description of the end of year show for the ballet school—it gave a glimpse into what makes someone want to devote herself to such a life."

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Elizabeth J.M. Walker has always loved reading and writing. Much of Elizabeth's childhood and teen years were spent in dance classes, which explains why so much dancing finds its way into her books and stories. She currently volunteers with a local dance theater company, where she helps plan productions, writes scripts and choreographs dances. She lives in Windsor, Ontario, with her husband and their creatures: two cats and a dog. For more information, visit www.elizabethjmwalker.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Breaking Big«

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Breaking Big

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Robin’s got everything it takes to be a principal dancer: the body, the feet, the strength and the passion. But his devil-may-care attitude plays havoc with discipline at the Premier Dance School. One more prank may be one too many. That’s why everyone is shocked when he’s the only student dancer picked to understudy with the company, even though the choice makes sense—Robin is cast as Puck, the annoying trickster fairy in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Shock turns to horror when the principal dancer is injured and Robin has to perform instead. The other dancers don’t think he can pull it off, and even Robin wonders if it’s too much too soon.

Will his big break kill his career before it even starts?

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"Nicely captures the competition and camaraderie of a group of people whose bodies are honed, molded, bloodied, and broken in pursuit of a common dream. It is refreshing to see this story told from a male dancer's perspective, and Robin's narrative style, arrogant and vulnerable by turn, aptly reflects the angst and self-doubt of a teenager who realizes that obtaining his heart's desire means that he now has something to lose. As his good fortune turns his classmates into critics and breeds its own particular brand of loneliness, the novel's dramatic stakes remain clear and absorbing. While Robin is the novel's protagonist, ballet itself is undeniably the story's main character. Contextual usage of ballet terminology and vivid description of movement bring the physicality and fluidity of dance to life, making this novel both a love letter and useful introduction to the art form. Dance veterans and newbies will relate to this readable account of the trials and tribulations of being in the spotlight."

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"Draper has written a delightful story about a world that most teenagers, especially males, never see. Draper has the teenage attitude and behavior down perfectly and that makes Robin’s life realistic. A fun novel to read, and teens will surely enjoy a peek into the world of dance, possibly even opening an avenue to their dreams of dance as a career. Highly Recommended."

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"A solid addition to the Orca Limelights Series...To those interested in a fine arts-based education, this novel provides an unsentimental view of the rigorous scheduling and interpersonal dynamics."

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Penny Draper is the award-winning author of numerous books for kids and teens. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, she now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.pennydraper.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Raw Talent«

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Raw Talent

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Fourteen-year-old Paisley loves to sing. She dreams of being a pop star just like her idol, Denzi, who also grew up in the small town of Stonehill. The problem is, Paisley suffers from severe stage fright. She can only sing in private. When word gets out that a famous Stratford actor who has worked with Denzi is staying at a local B&B, Paisley decides it's time to face her fears. She convinces the actor to tutor her and signs up to sing in a high-profile fundraiser.

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"Written at a fourth and fifth grade reading level…the authentic story line will keep realistic fiction fans engaged."

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"Appealing, accessible story for teens interested in the arts that will tempt them to become avid readers."

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"Much more than a simple story of a young girl trying to live up to the expectations set by her family. It is also about jealousy, cyber bullying and facing one's fears…A timely story, well written. Highly Recommended."

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"This book will appeal to young readers who have an interest in performance and happy endings."

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Jocelyn Shipley has written several books for teens, including Impossible and Shatterproof. Her award-winning stories have been published in newspapers and anthologies, and her work has been translated into many languages. Jocelyn lives in Toronto, Ontario, and on Vancouver Island. For more information, visit www.jocelynshipley.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Casting Lily«

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Casting Lily

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Fourteen-year-old Ava is thrilled when she lands a part in a play based on the true story of orphans sent to Canada in the 1800s to work on farms. But is she good enough to hold her own in a professional production? As the rehearsal pressures crank up, Ava struggles with her character, with the vocal demands of outdoor theater and with the annoying ego of her castmate Kiefer. But as she learns more about the historical Lily on which her part is based, things begin to fall into place.

Then one bad decision jeopardizes Ava's chances of being able to perform on opening night.

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"Casting Lily is more than a story about a play. It is about family, friendship, doing a job well and being authentic. Ava grows as a character, as well as a young person, over the course of the summer…A good read. Highly Recommended."

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"Bennett has thoroughly researched the process of working with young performers, from the auditions to the warm-ups, the rehearsal schedule and costume challenges, the opening night jitters and emotional reactions to press reviews. For drama students this will be familiar and comforting ground."

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Holly Bennett is the author of numerous young adult novels, all published by Orca. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she enjoys singing, being in nature, hanging out with her family, Scrabble and, of course, reading. For more information, visit www.hollybennett.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Upstaged«

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Upstaged

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Ellie is used to getting leading roles in her small-town school’s musicals, but her place at center stage disappears when her dad becomes the host of a breakfast TV show and they have to move to the big city. When Ellie auditions for—and lands—a spot with the Youth Works Theater Company, she comes up against a tight-knit group of talented, experienced and competitive triple-threat performers. Not only does she not get a lead, but she has to share a role with Marissa, a company veteran who seems determined to do all she can to outshine Ellie. Out of her depth and far from all that she’s known, Ellie wonders just what she has to do to stop feeling upstaged by everyone around her.

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"A good choice for high-low readers...recommended."

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"[McCowan] presents an accurate account of a theater company, with its off-site, dress, and technical rehearsals, and a convincingly diverse urban cast of secondary characters...A nifty story for theater fans."

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"A quick read, and the frequent references to current and classic musical titles will appeal to readers

who fancy the limelight for themselves."

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Patricia McCowan has written several novels and short stories that have appeared in YA anthologies, as well as in print and online magazines. Patricia lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit www.patriciamccowan.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Billboard Express«

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Billboard Express

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Elle has come to Nashville to become a star. She has what it takes, but her agent and all the label executives want to change everything about her—her hair, her body, her clothes and, most important, her music. So Elle becomes a blond, sings about cookin' for her man and wears tiny shorts and revealing tank tops. Then a chance meeting with an established female songwriter makes Elle realize that she's paying too high a price for success.

Billboard Express continues the story that began in Rock the Boat by Sigmund Brouwer.

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"Readers who enjoyed Rock the Boat will be happy to return to Brouwer's Nashville and go through a different journey with Elle...Recommended for reluctant readers and young adolescents."

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"This is a feel-good glimpse into the life of a rising star. If you are looking for titles with strong female protagonists that are high-interest/low vocabulary, this title is exactly what you are looking for."

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"Morgan and Brouwer paint an accurate portrait of the Nashville star-making machinery and the constant tug of war between art and commerce. It's deliciously entertaining, but most of all Elle's bravery is inspiring. After all...don't we all want to be true to ourselves and live authentic lives? This book will remind you why that's so valuable."

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Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.

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Cindy Morgan is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. A two-time Grammy nominee, Cindy is an adjunct professor of songwriting at Nashville's Belmont University. For more information, visit www.cindymorganmusic.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Off Pointe«

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Off Pointe

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


When Meg’s summer ballet program is canceled and her ballet teacher suggests she attend Camp Dance to learn new dance styles, Meg is devastated. Worse still, her teacher thinks she lacks stage presence and needs to connect more with her audience. At camp, Meg struggles to learn contemporary dance. A girl named Logan, who is jealous of Meg’s ballet technique and her friendship with Nio, a cute contemporary dancer, makes Meg’s life even more difficult. When Meg, Nio and Logan have to work together to create a piece for the final show, arguments threaten to ruin their dance. Unless they are able to overcome their differences, Meg’s time at Camp Dance will have been a disaster from start to finish.

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"Sure to hit the mark with readers looking for an informed and genuine approach to ballet and growing one’s repertoire."

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"Told from an easy-to-engage, first-person perspective...The journey may be bittersweet, but the message is one of hope and encouragement: no success without failure, no learning without doing, no joy without daring."

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"A quick, easy, realistic read, ideal for reluctant readers interested in dance and a little romance."

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"Will appeal to dance fanatics."

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Leanne Lieberman is the author of several books for young adults. Leanne lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario, where she teaches elementary school. For more information, visit www.leannelieberman.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Shimmy«

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Shimmy

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Lila has always wanted a career in belly dance, so she is thrilled when she is invited to join Dana Sajala’s competitive and prestigious studio. But dancing at the new studio isn’t quite what she expected. Dana Sajala is a tough teacher, and Lila finds the constant criticism stressful. On top of that, Lila misses the dancers from her old troupe, and a rift is developing between her and her best friend, Angela, who is not altogether sympathetic to Lila’s struggles. Lila has always loved belly dance—the music, the costumes, the choreography—but when she realizes that none of it is as much fun as it used to be, she starts to question whether she has made the right choice.

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"Part of the Orca Limelights series, a fantastic concept which combines stories about kids involved in creative and performing arts with simple storytelling perfect for reluctant readers...The central themes of this novel are fantastic and not often explored seriously in teen fiction. How important is it for creative teens to be completely wedded to their art form?...Jones also asks why we value art and creativity and why it is considered an important avenue of expression for teens...Shimmy shows readers the worth in building a community and supporting your peers."

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"Jones writes this novella in a simple, highly readable style. The author's descriptions of the dances are some of the most interesting segments of the story...Entertaining and insightful for young dancers."

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"Few have heard of dance competitions involving shimmying, more commonly called belly dancing...A unique topic...The overall themes of the book stick out and will encourage reluctant readers."

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Kari Jones is the author of several well-received books for kids and teens, including A Fair Deal, in the Orca Footprints series. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she teaches English and creative writing at Camosun College.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »He Who Dreams«

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He Who Dreams

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide. When he attends a pow wow and witnesses a powerful performance, he realizes that he wants to be a dancer more than anything. But the nearest class for boys is at the Native Cultural Center in the city, and he still hasn't told his family or friends about his new passion. If he wants to dance, he will have to stop hiding. Between the mocking of his teammates and the hostility of the boys in his dance class, John must find a way to balance and embrace both the Irish and Cree sides of his heritage.

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Melanie Florence is of Cree and Scottish descent. She is the author of the OLA Best Bets award-winning book Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools, Missing Nimama, which was awarded an Honourable Mention by the OLA, and Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuk to Play in the NHL, which was chosen as an Honor Book by The American Indian Library Association. Melanie works as a freelance journalist, and her byline has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dance International, Writer Magazine, Parents Canada and Urban Male Magazine. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family. For more information, visit www.melanieflorence.com.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Unity Club«

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Unity Club

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Brett is president of her school's Unity Club. When a new group home for at-risk youth opens in the neighborhood, Brett becomes friends with Jude, one of the boys who lives at the home.

After a series of acts of vandalism, the community starts demanding that the group home be shut down. Brett doesn't believe that Jude, or any of the other teens, is responsible, but when an elderly woman is seriously injured, Brett begins to have doubts.

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"An engaging story about adversity, social responsibility, homelessness, and forgiveness. Tweens and teens will find this book to be very readable and relatable…Highly Recommended."

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"This little volume about social activism, volunteering, and social justice portrays in an easy-to-read style a somewhat complex social situation that veers close to politicization but manages to avoid such a simple label."

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Karen Spafford-Fitz is the author of several novels for young people, including Vanish and Dog Walker in the Orca Currents series. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta. For more information, visit www.karenspafford-fitz.com.

 
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