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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers:
Sports and Pastimes


Louisa’s Secret by Adèle Geras
Published by Red Fox, 1997
ISBN 0-09-921832-1
Illustrations © Karen Popham, 1997

Louisa’s dream is to become a ballet dancer. She goes to great pains to take care of her legs and feet, even going so far as to stop kicking her sister under the table when she calls her Weezer.

When her new neighbour and friend, a boy aged eight named Tony, moves in next door Louisa gradually encourages him to practise ballet with her. So when Miss Matting, the ballet teacher, asks everyone in her class to prepare a dance with a partner, Louisa plans to make Tony her partner. But she absolutely must keep this a secret, even from her best friends, Maisie and Tricia.

She even has to keep it a secret from Tony because he refuses to let anyone know he likes ballet. Only by pretending they’re entering a talent contest does she get him to agree to dance with her. When he finally agrees to perform in front of Louisa’s class he is surprised to find out that James Williams, a boy from his school is one of those “girly wimps” who do ballet.

This is Book Two in the Little Swan Ballet Books series published by Red Fox. Other titles in the series include Little Swan; Louisa in the Wings and Louisa and Phoebe.

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