Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
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.
About the author
Kari Jones is happy to call Victoria, British Columbia, home: a city where you can go down to the beach with your kayak, find an island, a lighthouse and an adventure, and be back in time for dinner. Kari is a college instructor who teaches students to write, but when school is out, she can often be found with her family and friends exploring the natural world and dreaming up adventures to share. Kari is the co-author of Hiking Adventures with Children as well as several essays and articles on being in nature with kids. For more information, visit www.karijones.ca.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"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."
"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."
"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."