Saturday, May 17, 2008

House of Dance by Beth Kephart Book Review

House of Dance by Beth Kephart
(HarperCollins, Hardcover)


Rosie's Granddad has lived just across town all her life but she has never really known him. All that changes during her 15th summer. Granddad is dying and it is Rosie who has to help care for him. Rosie spends the summer organizing his possessions and slowly learns the important of music in her grandfather's life. Lost and feeling alone, Rosie starts to take dance lessons and begins to discover herself.

You know the kind of book that makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you want to start at page 1 as soon as you finish the last page? House of Dance is one of those books for me. Rosie's life has been lonely and yet she understands the importance of love and friendship. She is a courageous soul - bravely taking care of her dying grandfather and determined to learn to dance in a few short months. Growing up is never easy and Rosie struggles to understand herself as well as the people around her.
"That was my thought of the hour: that maybe all of us are [a mystery]. That Granddad had been young before he'd been old. That Mom had been a daughter once, like me. That there were things on the verge of vanishing that I barely understood."
Beth Kephart's writing style perfectly captures what we all experience as teens, that tumultuous journey of emotional and philosophical growth. It is heartbreaking to know that Rosie's Granddad will die soon, but House of Dance is ultimately a novel of hope. Rosie shows us that life is a dance and you have to take that first step in order to start living.


  1. Sounds like a good one to recommend to the 13-year old. Thanks!

  2. It sounds really great. I'm reading Undercover right now and I'm definitely looking forward to reading this one.


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