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Clair De Lune
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–Clair-de-Lune's mother died when she was a baby, and the girl has never been able to speak. She is treated meanly by the other students at her ballet school because of her talent and her inability to communicate. She lives with her grandmother who is determined that her granddaughter will never experience love because her mother died on stage from what the elderly woman believes was a broken heart. Surprisingly, Clair-de-Lune is now going to perform this same ballet in spite of misgivings by almost everyone, including the child herself. The young ballerina's only friend is a mouse named Bonaventure. He is definitely the warmest and most interesting character in the story. He has fallen in love with classical dance and is determined to create a mouse ballet. Before he can realize his dream, however, he is killed by a cat, and the other mice perform it in his honor. Through Bonaventure's friendship, Clair-de-Lune finds her father and her voice and perhaps a happy future. This is a curious, melancholy story with a young heroine who is malnourished both physically and spiritually. It is hard to determine the audience for this book. Although Bonaventure might add spark, it is not enough to attract many readers.–Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 3-5. Set in an unnamed European city in a time "years before Anna Pavlova conquered the world with The Dying Swan," this charismatic, ballet-themed first novel nods to Dickens, Noel Streatfield, and the magical atmosphere of Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux (2003). Twelve-year-old Clair-de-Lune, the mute daughter of a great ballerina who perished onstage, has dancing talent of her own--but "as each day passed the weight of things unsaid grew heavier and heavier on her heart." Her uncompromising, ballet-obsessed grandmother seems not to notice, but a sympathetic talking mouse and a wise monk help to reconnect Clair-de-Lune with her identity and her voice. It may be difficult for some readers to find their footing within this gossamer parable, which enfolds an enchanted monastery, the world's first all-mouse ballet company, and forces of destiny hidden in the folds of heirloom tutus. But the timeless cadences of Golds' storytelling will coax many--especially young balletomanes--into an engagement with the novel's deeper and occasionally darker themes, among them, the shock of unexpected grief. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"The whimsical, gently humorous story plays out with grace, wisdom, and life-affirming sensitivityÑreaders will be captivated."—The Bulletin, Starred
Clair-de-Lune lives with her grandmother in the tippy-top of a peculiar old building. Every day she practices ballet, just like her mother before her—the famous ballerina who died when Clair-de-Lune was just a baby. Since that day, Clair-de-Lune hasn’t uttered a word.
Then one day the girl who cannot speak meets a remarkable mouse who can. Bonaventure dreams of founding a dancing school just for mice—but he dreams of helping his new friend, too. Soon the brave little mouse introduces Clair-de-Lune to a hidden world inside, and yet somehow beyond, her building—a world that slowly begins to open her heart. Maybe one day her dreams will come true, too.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Cassandra Golds grew up in an old-fashioned apartment building almost as magical as Clair-de-Lune's.
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