08/10/2000

Goodbye Gemma (by Noel Streatfeild)

The 'Gemma' series of four books is one of my favourites by Noel Streatfeild, who wrote many books for children, several of which featured talented ballet dancers.

'Goodbye Gemma' is, unsurprisingly, the last in the series. Gemma, now a young teenager, has an amazing chance to play Juliet in a University production of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Her shy cousin Ann, who has a fabulous voice, is 'discovered', and Ann's younger sister Lydia risks everything for ballet.

Family relationships are explored fully, and there's even a hint of romance. Excellent light reading, best after at least one of the previous books in the series. Highly recommended for older children and teenagers, though it would probably appeal mostly to girls.

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