Monday, August 23, 2010

Kaylee’s Choice by Rod Vick

Food to eat while reading: Delicious Dilemma Chips and Dips

Join Kaylee and discover with her why so many girls (and boys) willingly endure wigs and sock glue (yes, glue for their socks) to Irish dance.

Read the synopsis here.

What I liked:

Kaylee’s relationship with her dad is realistic. Although they have disagreements and don’t always agree, father and daughter love and sacrifice for each other. The fact that her father wanted her to take soccer because he had loved it addresses the whole "stage mother" issue that I try not to succumb to with my own children.

I also relate to Kaylee's attept at prioritizing.  Daily I look at the various activities and responsiblities my children and I have taken on and try to keep them in perspective.  Which is most important?  Can the laundry wait until tomorrow?  How can we compromise and keep everyone happy?

The setting of the dance studio jumped out at me.  How cool is a studio built out of an old bowling alley?  I want to go see it.

Vick does an excellent job explaining the idiosyncrasies of Irish dance and helping the reader with pronunciations.  Here's an example of the word ghillie:  "The way she pronounced it made Kaylee think of something a small fish would breathe through" p 20. 

Also addressed in the book is the monetary reality of a hobby such as Irish dance.  Through Kaylee we get to see the costs involved and the sacrifices made by both daughter and parents for such a pastime.

I loved the character of Helen, a gruff granny teacher who doesn't mince words. 

Also, I love the last two lines of the book, they are satisfying.  I would post them here, but that would give away Kaylee's choice.  I guess you will have to read the book :)

What I would have changed:

I didn't enjoy the relationship Kaylee had with her grandmother and that thread of the book didn't work out for me in the end.  Although I liked how the issue was resolved, the grandmother and grandaughter still felt estranged. 

I could have read more about her interactions with her friends, new and old.  I realize that this is a personal preference 

The verdict:

The first in a series, Kaylee’s Choice will appeal to those who have already fallen in love with Irish dancing, as well as those who have never before heard of it.  The book is especially suited for middle grade readers.

Purchase: kayleeoshay.com

Genre: MG

Publisher: 2006 by Laikituk Creek Publishing

Where I got the book: Laikituk Creek Publishing*

*I received only a copy of the book as compensation for my review.

5 comments:

  1. I love how your review of this book tells how the novel relates to your life. That is what makes a book really good to me is if I can draw correlations between the characters in the book and myself.
    Tammy P.

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  2. This is a good review. You explain clearly what you like and don't like. Although I'm 70, I love to write and read YA and middle grade stories, and just might buy this book; you have piqued my interest.
    Ann

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