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The Only Boy in Ballet Class by Denise…
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The Only Boy in Ballet Class

by Denise Gruska

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Ages 4-8. Tucker loves to dance and he especially loves ballet. Tucker's mom is very understanding and encouraging of his passion but his uncle thinks he should be playing football. A chance opportunity on the football field leads Tucker to a new discovery and some surprising new students in the ballet studio. Appealing story about a young boy who follows his heart and stays true to himself.
  smebbinga | Dec 1, 2016 |
This tradebook was used for my research paper. This story is about a little boy who is in ballet class. His mom is okay with it, but his Uncle is not supportive of him being in ballet. He pushes for him to be in football. Eventually, the boy scores the winning touch down using his dance moves and gets support from the football jocks. I thought this was a good story for anyone to read. I gave this story a four out of five stars, because even though his uncle didn't support him, his mom was supportive of his dance class. The illustrations were done in vibrant water colors, giving the book an exciting feel to the story. I would use this in a classroom at any time. Again, students could journal about why this goes against the social norm and what makes this book different from others. ( )
  j.swancutt | Dec 3, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is a very good book. I like this book because it pushes the reader to realize that not all boys want to do stereotypical “boy things”. Tucker Dohr is the only boy in his ballet class, and he loves it. He spends every minute of every day dancing. He is made fun of by the boys on the football team, and even his own uncle thinks he should play football instead. Tucker is always the last one picked for sports in school. He tries to pretend that it doesn't bother him, but deep down it does. “But sometimes he has to cry about it at night when he’s alone.” When Tucker goes to his ballet class he feels right at home. Tucker is good at ballet, and he loves it. One day Tucker is asked to play football because the team is short one player. Tucker ends up winning the game for the team because he is able to get away from the other player using his ballet moves. “He pirouetted past the first kid, and he got away. Then he jeted past the second one, and he got away.” After he wins the game, the other children no longer make fun of him. Some boys on the football team even join his ballet class. I also liked the illustrations in this story. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The illustrator does a fantastic job of portraying the characters’ emotions through facial expressions. For example, when Tucker is in ballet class, he has a large smile on his face. The reader can tell that Tucker is doing something he loves. The big idea of this book is to show readers that it’s okay to be who you are. Your gender does not dictate what you can and cannot do in life. Like Tucker, you have to be true to yourself. ( )
  Chawki6 | Nov 16, 2014 |
This book was great because it showed the perspective of a boy ballet dancer. I chose this book because I love ballet. I myself danced throughout high school in all kinds of dance such as ballet, jazz, modern and tap. I really enjoyed the language the author chose for this story. The book used technical terms that are used for different ballet moves. For example, “Then he might have to chassé or pas de bourrée to school”. Each technical term is in italics and there is a term reference sheet with the definitions on the very last page. This might be helpful to readers who are unfamiliar with ballet terms. Another aspect about why I thought this book was a great book was that even though not everyone agreed with Tucker dancing, he still kept dancing because that’s what made him happy. My favorite quote from the book was a quote from Tucker’s mother to Tucker. He asked his mother if she liked that he loved to dance. His mother responded with, “I don’t like that you love to dance. I love that you love to dance!” I found this quote to be important because children need support and approval. The main idea of this book is to express to readers that ballet is not only for girls but for boys too! ( )
  vharsh1 | Oct 15, 2014 |
This book did not receive any awards. This book is good for first graders and second graders since that is when children start getting involved in sports and in dance. This book is about a little boy who LOVES to dance. He does ballet moves doing day to day chores. The boys who play football always give him a hard time because he is participating in a "girls" activity. He doesn't let it bother him because dancing feels so right to him. His mom loves the fact that he dances but his uncle is constantly telling his mom that they have to put the boy in football. So on the day of his big ballet recital his mom and his sisters give him a standing ovation because he did a great job. After the recital the football boys come at him and instead of making fun of him they ask him to play with them. He actually scores the winning touchdown and the boys praise him. The next day at ballet school the boys were all there because they wanted to be able to be as graceful as him. This story deals with gender roles, diversity, acceptance and following your passion. We could talk about certain hobbies or sports and make a venn diagram to show which things are for boys and which ones are for girls. Then we can read the story and they can see that sports and hobbies can be for anyone as long as you love what you are doing and you work hard. After they can write a sentence saying what they do after school and then they can draw a picture.
  mmaher8 | Nov 27, 2011 |
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Tucker Dohr loves ballet but is constantly teased by football players his age for being a sissy, however they see him in a whole new light when circumstances place him in a position to help them win the football championship.

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