The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
No Ballet Shoes in Syria
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Aya is a Syrian asylum seeker, looking after her mother and baby brother in the cold, unfamiliar city of Manchester – but she is also a talented ballet dancer.
A part of her life that seemed lost forever when she fled her home comes back to her when she encounters a ballet class led by the elegant Miss Helena. As the book unfolds, she finds new friends and learns to depend on "the kindness of strangers".
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.