Review Blog

Feb 07 2012

Various positions by Martha Schabas

cover image

Text, 2012. ISBN 9781921758898.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. This first novel by Martha Schabas deals with the difficulty of becoming a ballerina. Georgia, aged 13/14, is selected to attend the best ballet school in Toronto. She is determined to work hard and has talent, so what could go wrong? As the movie Black Swan showed, dancers must have psychological resilience as well as strong bodies. Georgia can push her body but cannot control those around her. Furthermore she is not ready for the nuances of adult sexual relationships. Georgia's parents are drifting towards divorce, and Georgia is shocked to discover that their relationship began when her mother was her father's student. Georgia's friend, Chantal, is overweight, and, on Georgia's advice, starts dieting with near catastrophic results. Georgia discovers her own sexuality and takes inappropriate photos of herself. Her male teacher is brutal in his assessments of his pupils. Georgia, however, believes that he is in love with her and attempts to seduce him by leaving the photographs on his desk. They are discovered and as he is also blamed for Chantal's anorexia, he is forced to resign. Georgia must face what she has done, and start again in another school. The book covers a number of themes, sexual manipulation, eating disorders, teacher-student relationships and the growing awareness of adolescence. Told in the first person and quite simply written, it is convincing and readable. It is recommended for mature readers.
Jenny Hamilton

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Hugo Award finalists 2019
British Book Awards' Books of the Year shortlists
Waterstones Children's Book Prize
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals shortlists 2019
Blue Peter Book Awards 2019
Laugh out loud book awards 2019

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Value of School Libraries