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Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance

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Brabander reviews Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

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  • pg 1
									                                             Fiction
                                          Joe Rat
                                          by Mark Barratt
                                          Intermediate, Middle School Eerdmans 310 pp.
                                          9/09 Paper ed. 978-0-8028-5356-1 $9.00
                                   While	there’s	been	no	shortage	of	rollicking	or	steam-
                                   punked	Victoriana	lately,	here’s	a	novel	that	takes	its	
                                   Dickensian	roots	seriously.	Joe	is	a	tosher,	kept	this	
                                   side	of	starvation	by	trawling	the	sewers	of	London	
                                   for	metal	and	even	the	stray	dropped	coin,	and	hand-
                                                                    	
                                   ing	over	almost	everything	he	finds	to	the	loathsome	
                                   “Mother,”	under	whose	“protection”	he	survives.	Bess	
                                   is	a	poor	country	girl,	brought	into	the	city	by	her	
                                   own	(equally	loathsome)	mother	for	a	“hiring	fair”—
                                   she	would	sell	Bess	to	the	highest	bidder	at	White	
                                                     	
                                   Street	Market.	The	tales	of	these	two	unfortunate	
                                   children	alternate	for	a	while,	but	eventually	they	are	
brought	together	when	Bess	escapes	from	her	mother	just	as	Joe	determines	to	escape	
                                                            	
from	his,	and	the	two	fall	in	league.	While	the	story	is	unflinchingly	realistic,	there’s	
more	than	a	little	“Hansel	and	Gretel”	at	work	as	Joe	and	Bess	navigate	the	dark	streets	
and	disgusting	sewers	of	the	city	in	their	quest	for	freedom.	As	with	Dickens,	the	happy	
ending	might	not	be	exactly	earned,	but	it	is	welcome.	roger	sutton

Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance
by Annie Barrows; illus. by Sophie Blackall
Primary, Intermediate Chronicle 129 pp.
11/09 978-0-8118-6266-0 $14.99
Perusing	The Royal Book of Ballet,	Ivy	and	Bea
								
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