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Lila Bloom    by Alexander Stadler order for
Lila Bloom
by Alexander Stadler
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's one of those days for Lila, when everything seems to go wrong - from too few strawberries at breakfast to 'Try Harder' on her book report. So she's not thrilled when it's time to go to ballet class ('the stupid tutus ... How I wish I could quit!') with Aunt Celeste. Lila even announces to her classmates that it's her last class.

Lila puts little effort into class. After a 'lazy pirouette', Madame Vera takes her to task, telling her she's been dancing like an 'old noodle'. So Lila decides to show the 'old goose' what she can do. Oddly enough, when she focuses on her dancing, Lila's grumpiness begins to fall away, and all she can think of is the music and how 'it seemed to be moving her across the floor.'

All kids rebel from time to time against even their favorite activities. In Lila Bloom, the adults around this little girl handle her with sensitivity, allowing Lila to arrive on her own at the realization that she loves ballet, and to understand how it can elevate her above her daily troubles.

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