Eleven-year-old Reeni’s world is changing. Her star-of-the-senior-class, college-bound sister has no time for her, sixth grade is full of girls into makeup and diets and crushes, and something deep inside tells Reeni it’s time to become more than a shy girl in the shadows. But when she commits to dancing a solo for her retiring ballet teacher’s final recital, her lifelong fear of performing expands along with her newly changing body. Lunch friends convince Reeni that a diet will give her courage and self-confidence, but the diet wreaks havoc with Reeni’s life. She lies to her parents, breaks up with her best friend, and loses focus on school work and dance.
Reeni faces a painful choice: should she break her commitment to solo and quit dance? Or might she have hidden strengths that could help her come out of the shadows and become the girl she wants to be?
Advance Praise for Reeni’s Turn
“In lyrical, deeply moving verse, Reeni’s Turn shares both the joy and beauty of dance and the cruel self-doubt caused by our culture’s obsession with bodily appearance. This is an extraordinarily empowering book.”
—Claudia Mills, author of Zero Tolerance and Nixie Ness, Cooking Star (After-School Superstars)
“Readers will not forget Reeni’s passion for dance, her struggles to honor that passion during the turbulence of changes in her life, and her quest to find ‘the balance between body and courage.’ Carol Coven Grannick is not afraid to show readers a desperate Reeni. But she also gives us the joy of a dancing Reeni. A wonderful story.”
—Jacqueline Briggs Martin, author of Bim, Bam, Bop…and Oona and Caldecott award-winning Snowflake Bentley
“Reeni’s Turn is a moving story of identity, courage, and self-acceptance. Grannick’s verse spins with a dancer’s ease: graceful and elegant, determined and powerful. Readers will connect with Reeni’s struggle to listen to her inner voice when the world threatens to drown it out, and applaud as she triumphs.”
—Lisa Jenn Bigelow, author of Hazel’s Theory of Evolution and Drum Roll, Please
“Reeni Rosenbloom leapt off the page and pirouetted straight into my heart. Her struggles with body image and the pressure to conform to society’s ideal were both achingly real and refreshingly honest. Every young girl needs to read this lyrical gem of a novel!”
—Jenny Meyerhoff, author of The Friendship Garden series, the Louie Burger books, and Playing Cupid.
“Through beautifully crafted poetry, Carol Coven Grannick creates a main character who is strong yet vulnerable and highly relatable. Reeni’s Turn artfully portrays the dance that is middle school—sometimes smooth, sometimes unstable, always growth-rendering.”
—Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson and Spin With Me (2020)