The wonderful Noel Streatfeild Shoe books are the ones mentioned by Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, in You’ve Got Mail, and they’re very real. This classic series was first published in the 30s and 40s, but its theme of finding one’s strengths still speaks to children in today’s world.
The series has not yet been published in Kindle format, but they are available in Audible format.
Ballet Shoes (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $14.70 / 1 Audible credit for Audible members, $17.95 for non-members)
When three English orphans, Pauline, Petrova, and Posy, join the Children’s Academy of Dancing and Stage Training to help out their new family, they have no idea it’s going to be such hard work!
Vowing to make a name for themselves, they launch into the world of show business, complete with working papers, the glare of the spotlight, and practice, practice, practice!
But the theater isn’t right for all of them…Pauline is destined for the movies. Posy is a born dancer. Practical Petrova finds she’d rather pilot a plane than perform a pirouette.
Each girl must find the courage and the talent to follow her dream.
Theater Shoes (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $14.89 / 1 Audible credit for Audible members, $15.95 for non-members)
When their father is captured during the war, three children come to London to live with their grandmother and join all the cousins of their talented theatrical family in a school for stage training.
The orphans are forced to enter a theater school by their grandmother, a famous actress.
Unable to pay the tuition, they are given scholarships from the now-grown orphans from Ballet Shoes. Will they be able to live up to their patrons’ legacies?
The children are ready to run away – until they discover their hidden talents.
Dancing Shoes (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $14.89 / 1 Audible credit for Audible members, $15.95 for non-members)
When Cora Wintle goes to pick up her orphaned niece, Rachel, she discovers that Rachel’s adopted sister, Hilary, would be perfect for her dancing troupe! The only problem is that Hilary might be as good as her own precious daughter, Dulcie. Still, she’s determined to take sulky Rachel and sprightly Hilary and make them into Little Wonders!
But Rachel doesn’t want to be a Little Wonder! She can’t dance, and she’d rather die than wear the ruffly costume. Not only that, she doesn’t want Hilary to be a Little Wonder either. She had promised her mother that she would make sure Hilary danced with the Royal Ballet.
Nothing seems to be going as planned, until Rachel discovers her talent for acting.