Summary: As an infant, Daphne was abandoned on the doorstep of an all-girls school. Now, at thirteen, she longs to discover the truth about her past and to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a prima ballerina. When a book containing a tantalizing riddle and a magical pair of stockings arrive, her dreams of glory and fame are suddenly within her grasp. Daphne is poised to win an audition for the Ballet Splendide in Paris. But will the magic be enough to help her overcome her childhood demons of loneliness and insecurity? This irresistible story is brought to life with black-and-white interior illustrations and a beautiful jacket enhanced with foil. -- Dutton
My middle grade aged daughter loves to dance. In fact, dancing is a huge part of her life since she spends about 5 1/2 hours a week (plus travel time) practicing ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop. So when I discovered that THE SCARLET STOCKINGS: THE ENCHANTED RIDDLE by Charlotte Kandel was a fantasy book about dancing, I thought it might be a book that she would really enjoy.
Unfortunately, her schedule has been crazy lately and she couldn't read this book in a timely manner (or a timely enough manner for me.) But I did have the opportunity to sit down one beautiful spring day and read THE SCARLET STOCKINGS: THE ENCHANTED RIDDLE. I thoroughly appreciated this book, and I loved how the author incorporated history, dance, mystery and magic in one novel.
One of the best things about this book to me was the character of Daphne. I thought the author did a wonderful job of developing Daphne's character. She was very complex and multi-dimensional for a middle grade book, and I think a lot of girls are going to love her (and even relate to her a bit.) Daphne was an orphan, and as a result, always felt insecure and abandoned. But she did have a big dream -- to one day be a famous ballerina. I loved how she knew what she wanted out of life, and she wasn't afraid to go after her dream.
As Daphne begins to fulfill her dream of dancing with a professional group, I found myself getting frustrated with her; and she begins to lose her way. In fact, at times, I was a little worried about Daphne and her actions. She became very selfish and she even brushed aside her friends for her own benefit. However, something major happens to Daphne and she learns some very important lessons about family and friends (and even herself.)
Needless to say, I enjoyed Daphne's story; and as a mom, I really liked that the book had some wonderful messages! I think young girls will feel the same way; however, I think they are really going to like the mystery and magic aspects of this novel too. There are some magical "scarlet stockings," and there is also an intriguing riddle that runs throughout the story that Daphne has to solve. Both elements add a certain magical feeling to the story and are bound to keep kids entranced.
THE SCARLET STOCKINGS: THE ENCHANTED RIDDLE is the first book in The Scarlet Stockings Trilogy, and I think young girls who enjoy magical books are going to really like it. If you are interested in reading the first chapter of the novel, you can click here. It's a wonderful book for children and adults, and I'm personally looking forward to the sequel.
Thanks to the author for providing me a copy of this novel.
Giveaway alert: Charlotte Kandel graciously sent me an extra copy of THE SCARLET STOCKINGS: THE ENCHANTED RIDDLE to share with one of you! To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment with a way to contact you -- that's it! This giveaway will be open until April 4th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you in the U.S and Canada only. Good luck!