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Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review: Ten Cents A Dance by Christine Fletcher

Ten Cents A Dance by Christine Fletcher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pages: 368
Source: Received from publisher for honest review

Summary: With her mother ill, it's up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago's poor Yards is a job in one of the meat-packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer, a girl paid ten cents to dance with any man and soon becomes an expert in the art of "fishing" as she works her patrons for meals, clothes, even jewelry. Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.

My Review: Ten Cents A Dance was a jazzy, heart-breaking story of a fifteen year old girl trying to support her family in the 1940's. The dialogue of the era was spot on and it flowed perfectly with the plot. Ruby, was a good girl at heart with a mind of a strong-willed woman. Her innocence was respectable but flawed by her poor judgment. The moment she fell for the neighborhood's bad boy her life changed. He introduced her to the job of a taxi dancer, a job where women paraded themselves in dancing with men seeking a good time. At first, she didn't fit in but once she got the hang of it nothing stood in her way.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. This job was a dangerous playground if you got caught up in the game of manipulation. She sometimes had to sacrifice her boundaries and values for the price of money. Ruby was alone with this secret, to her mother she was a telephone operator. But, in order to keep her family life afloat she had to swallow her pride and continue to work. She and her family started living comfortably once the money started rolling in. However, Ruby passed through a lot of bumps that forever changed the little girl her mother once knew. I admired her struggle to save herself and figure out the best alternative for her future. I really enjoyed this book because I felt like I was with Ruby on her journey to self-discovery. Also, the 1940's dancing scene was fun, it made me want to learn the jitterbug and all the old school dances. I look forward to reading more works by Christine, she has a way of capturing her audience and leaving them wanting more.

My Rating:
Author's Info:
Christine Fletcher is a veterinarian who started writing and never stopped. She's published two young adult novels: Ten Cents a Dance, which was named a Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and Tallulah Falls, which was named a 2007 Book for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her boyfriend and an assortment of rescued animals.

13 comments:

slommler said...

Great review! The books sound like they should be on my TB list!
Hugs
SueAnn

blueicegal said...

i love this review, i can really imagine myself getting into this book, it seems very realistic, keep it up

MissAttitude said...

I loved this book! It definitely made me wish I lived in the '40s, but at the same it accurately portrayed the dangers of being a taxi dancer, the limited options when you're a girl and the racisim/prejudice faced by Polish, Filipinos and African Americans. A truly great piece of historical fiction.

So glad you enjoyed it :)

Sarah said...

This actually sounds like a really interesting book. Adding to my list!

bookaholic said...

I'd love to read this one :)

The Library Lurker said...

I read this one a while ago and I really liked it! Great review! I'm glad that you liked it too.

Helen's Book Blog said...

My assistant and I both really enjoyed this book; it's nice to see someone else out there reading it. I recommend it to a lot of our students.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

Thanks for the great review, Eleni. This sounds like something I'd love.

Ladybug said...

Loved your review, Eleni! The book sounds really good. Just mention the Jitterbug and I am there.

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

Awesome review- this book looks so cute and fun but I like that you pointed out the harsher side of it. =) And... learning the jitterbug would be totally sweet.

FionaChan said...

sounds like a really great book.

Chas @ LLL in the 808 said...

Wow... this one sounds like a book to get lost into!=)


Great review!!

...coming from Saturday Networking.... ck.twilighter but now using my other google user!=)

GMR said...

Nice review! I just found out I won a copy of this book so I will be anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Thanks for a quick glimpse behind the pages!

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