CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 19. . . .January 19, 2016
Robin is in his third year of scholarship to Premier Dance School, something he really wanted to do. His brothers chose football, and his parents wanted him to play soccer, but Robin wanted to dance, and now, he is one of the best dancers of the pre-professional classes. He is also a jokester! Ballet is a serious dance, especially in year three, but from the beginning, he couldn’t understand why they couldn’t have fun too, and so his mission is to make everyone laugh. Of course, Robin’s pranks get him into a lot of trouble too.
Then the school announces their yearly dance presentation as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Robin is chosen as the understudy for Puck, the endearing prankster in this ballet. Everyone is shocked because any of their group of friends is good enough for this part, but after all, Robin is one of the best and a prankster at heart. He learns so much at the practices, so many little tricks and methods that the professionals use, and he wants to share his new knowledge with his friends. How perfect it is that one of them can learn and share what they will need to know in the future, better preparing them for their professional years. But Robin’s friends don’t see it that way. They think he is bragging and constantly reminding them that he is the understudy and they were not chosen. The harder he tries, the more his friends push him away. Soon he is all alone and not part of the group.
The time has come for the presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the very worst happens. The dancer portraying Puck gets injured, and Robin, as understudy, must take over. Excited and scared, Robin trains harder than ever before, but his heart isn’t really into it because he can’t share this honor with his friends. And, he still doesn’t have the double tour, the most difficult but most important move for a male dancer. Slowly, his friends return to give him support because they realize they have been petty and jealous. Even Odette, who always appears to be too good for the rest of the group and especially doesn’t like Robin, came to help Robin develop the best double tour that he has ever done. The show is a success, even with Robin’s penchant for jokes which keep the professionals guessing throughout the performance.
Penny Draper has written a delightful story about a world that most teenagers, especially males, never see. Draper has the teenage attitude and behavior down perfectly and that makes Robin’s life realistic. Breaking Big is a fun novel to read, and teens will surely enjoy a peak into the world of dance, possibly even opening an avenue to their dreams of dance as a career.
Elaine Fuhr is a retired elementary and middle school teacher.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.