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No Ballet Shoes in Syria on Down the Rabbit Hole

No Ballet Shoes in Syria | Catherine Bruton

The latest episode of Down the Rabbit Hole aired this week, and one of this month’s featured books was No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton – a captivating story, filled with warmth and heart, with wonderfully authentic ballet writing and an important message championing the rights of refugees. And if you didn’t manage to catch it live, you can listen to the episode on catch-up now!

No Ballet Shoes in Syria tells the story of Aya – eleven years old and newly arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria. Perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes, Lorna Hill’s Sadlers Wells series, and Pamela Brown’s The Swish of the Curtain, this is beautiful, classic storytelling.

You can listen to the latest episode of Down the Rabbit Hole, featuring special guest Maz Evans, below, or at this page.

And that’s not all! No Ballet Shoes in Syria has also been named Booktrust’s Book of the Day – in their review of the book, Booktrust write:

“Children who love stories of performance and friendship will enjoy this book. The story humanises Aya, showing her as much more than just her circumstances. The reality of her history never overwhelms the essential romance of the story.

The book is ideal for readers who enjoy shedding a cathartic tear, but need an optimistic ending. Fans of Noel Streatfield will find much that is familiar and fun.”

You can read Booktrust’s full review here.

And you can read the opening chapters of No Ballet Shoes in Syria below:

Buy the book.

And you can listen to a preview of the audiobook below:

Buy the audiobook.

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