Tendril Press Honored at the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) today announced the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Award honorees. Contributors to this year's list of honorees include the 39th U.S. president Jimmy Carter, actor Jim Carrey, musician Art Garfunkel, and author Garrison Keillor.  Learn more...

84 Ribbons Foreword Review

Foresight > Young Adult Fiction

The Risky Business of Growing Up

Five dramatic YA titles remind us that youth isn’t all about puppy love and teen angst

YAForeSight-FrontPage

84 RIBBONS
Paddy Eger, Tendril Press, Softcover $16.95 (360pp),
978-09858933-2-3

In this riveting ballet story set in 1950s America, Paddy Eger reminds us that not every ballerina gets her fairy-tale ending. Seventeen-year old Marta Selbryth always dreamed of being a professional ballet dancer. When she secures a position in an esteemed dance company, she discovers that the world of professional dancing is no warm and fuzzy haven. A mean-spirited Madam, a skeptical choreographer, a nasty neighbor, and a series of injuries plunges her into anorexia, heartache, and self-doubt—-moments that are gently written and always believable. Eger, a former dancer herself, brilliantly details the day-to-day life of this world. “If she wasn’t dealing with her tiredness and almost losing her position, she’d be exhilarated by the fragile strength that blossomed inside her, allowing her to dance even though she should collapse from lack of sleep and food. Maybe this was how it felt to be an adult,” thinks Marta. In such moments of interiority, the author’s passion for the subject is restrained; she does not overstate the character’s sacrifices and successes. One of the novel’s themes is an unusual one for YA: the recognition that one is not entirely in control of destiny. For example, Marta wonders, “What do you say to someone like Madam who dislikes you, someone who controls your future?” Indeed, it becomes unclear not only whether Marta will maintain her position in the company, but whether she will survive it. A pure coming-of-age tale with moments of quiet drama, 84 Ribbons is about thriving despite the imperfections of life.

—Leia Menlove
YA ForeSight
ForeWord Reviews

Return to the 84 Ribbons Main Page

Stay Connected

blog

facebook

twitter

Support CO 14er Initiative

9780976825913-frontsm-72dpi

Long's Peak:

It's a Story and
a Climbing Guide