Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers Award
Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.
When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.
But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya's father - separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.
With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling - filled with warmth, hope and humanity.
"Wise and kind and unputdownable." - Hilary McKay, Costa Book Prize-winning author of The Skylarks' War
"A perfect balance of tragedy and triumph." - Natasha Farrant, author of The Children of Castle Rock
"A moving story about one of the big issues of our time, told with wonderful clarity, and incredibly touching." - Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo
"A moving, textured story ... Ballet Shoes for the 21st century" - The Times
Catherine Bruton was born in the North West, where she attended the local comprehensive before graduating with a first class degree in English Literature from Oxford.
In her twenties, she worked in Namibia and South Africa, teaching in bush schools and working with street children in the townships. Catherine then went on to teach at some of the top schools