We have some fantastic news to share today – No Ballet Shoes in Syria, by Catherine Bruton has been shortlisted for this year’s Books Are My Bag Readers Awards in the Children’s Fiction category. Launched in 2016 and sponsored by National Book Tokens, it is the only award curated by bookshops and voted for by readers themselves. Vote for this year’s award and you could win one of five £100 National Book Tokens! Discover the brilliant shortlist and vote for your favourite for a chance to win, here.
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.
With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.
“Wise and kind and unputdownable.” – Hilary McKay, Costa Book Prize-winning author of The Skylarks’ War
“A perfect balance of tragedy and triumph.” – Natasha Farrant, author of The Children of Castle Rock
“A moving story about one of the big issues of our time, told with wonderful clarity, and incredibly touching.” – Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo
Here’s Catherine Burton discussing the inspirations behind the book:
And you can take a look at the first chapter below:
Or, if you’d prefer, you can listen to the first chapter of the audiobook:
The winners will be announced at the award ceremony on Tuesday 12th November.
For more information about the award, and to place your vote, click here.