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Listen to the Nightingale [Turtleback]

Rumer Godden


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Book Description

December 1994
'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer ...Never forget. Promise.' Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a spaniel puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless. When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Turtleback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Demco Media (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606070265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606070263
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Only after Madame Holbein's death does 10-year-old Lottie understand her beloved dance teacher's advice to "listen to the nightingale" and make room in her life for other things besides ballet. Lottie's revelation begins when she serendipitously comes to own Prince, a King Charles Cavalier spaniel. But when the girl earns a place at a prestigious boarding school for dancers, she must give up the dog. The dilemma about the puppy is predictably resolved, but subsequent conflicts--including an act of betrayal, a case of blackmail and the heroine's sudden loss of energy--prove more surprising and complex. Besides her imaginative exploration of a young ballet student's character, Godden ( The Story of Holly and Ivy ; An Episode of Sparrows ) offers memorable portraits of Lottie's aunt, neighbors, teachers and acquaintances, among them Violetta, a child crippled by her own mother; prankster Salvador; and rich, spoiled Irene. Readers will willingly forgive the plot contrivances in exchange for Godden's expert narration, her beguiling setting and her heartening celebration of love and happy endings. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-- Ten-year-old Lottie is a poor but talented orphan raised by a maiden aunt. Through an innocent misunderstanding, she is presumed to be the owner of a valuable dog. Her refusal to return the lovable puppy to its rightful owners leads inevitably to dissembling. Her acceptance at a prestigious ballet school precipitates a crisis, since the boarding school does not allow pets. A blackmail attempt by another student ultimately brings the truth to light, but not before Lottie nearly starves while giving up most of her food to the blackmailer. This is a complexly plotted novel with a cast of over 50 characters. One subplot curiously involves the failure of Madame Holbein's Ballet Company, which tangentially continues Godden's adult title, A Candle for St. Jude (Viking, 1948; o.p.). Unfortunately, it will not have much interest for younger readers. The characters, while clearly defined, may seem a bit dated. Lottie herself, in her white gloves and her coronet of braids, is so thoroughly good as to be unrealistic. Her nemesis, conversely, comes from ``the boys will be boys'' school of malicious pranksters. The vocabulary is advanced; ballet terms, background, and setting are accurate, well integrated, and sure to please balletomanes. The audience, however, is problematic. Children interested in reading about a ten-year-old may have difficulty sticking with it. Still, readers who persevere will have the thrill of indignation at the many injustices that befall the sympathetic little heroine and the satisfaction of an old-fashioned happy ending. --Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story, real and wise, with people I loved June 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story is happy in deep ways--not superficial. The author understands the world of ballet, and how a girl might feel when poverty and responsibility could keep her from being the fine artist she could be. The story is intriguing and the writing is masterful. IF THIS BOOK WERE REISSUED IN HARDCOVER I WOULD BUY LOADS OF THEM AND GIVE THEM TO EVERYONE I LIKE.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of "Ballet Shoes," take note! Feb. 9 2001
By ATP - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you loved Noel Streatfeild's "Ballet Shoes," you'll be just as passionate about Rumer Godden's "Listen to the Nightingale." Certainly they are very different books, by very different authors. But what I find similar is each author's ability to create vivid, complex characters. Like Streatfeild, Godden isn't afraid to give weaknesses to adults and strengths to children. Charlotte is a very talented dancer - but she tells lies, loses a role to a false friend, has her feelings bruised, and through it all keeps the reader's sympathy and interest. The ballet background is beautifully detailed, but it's the personalities that are so memorable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rumer Godden's consummate artistry delights the soul Aug. 7 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Listen to the Nightingale" is an enchanting work. It revives, in part, the setting of Godden's "A Candle for St. Jude," for Charlotte Tew, who was Lottie in "A Candle for St. Jude," afrer the death of the famed dancer Anna Holbein and the closing of her school,studies at the Royal Ballet School. Lottie's deepening engagement with the dance. her journey from the London streets to the stage, her fascination with Salvador, and the profound impact her time at the school has on her and her aunt, will delight even those who do not yet know Miss Godden's work. Treat yourself!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! Jan. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a true delight. I loved every moment of it... I've read it about six times, and will probably reading it over and over again for as long as I live. Rumer Godden has a wonderful story, and wonderful chracters. Although I'm not interested in ballet at all, I still loved this book. It's so much more.

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