Monday, May 21, 2012

Good Read! "Ten Cents a Dance"

Recently I heard about girls becoming "Taxi Dancers" during the 1920's, 30's and 40's. I had never heard about "Taxi Dancers" before, and I was curious as to what it was. Luckily, we had a really good historical fiction novel about them in the school library where I work. The book is called "Ten Cents a Dance" and was written by Christine Fletcher.

The story takes place in the late 1930's/early 1940's in Chicago. The main character of the story, Ruby, is only 15 years old and is forced to quit school and go to work at a meat packing plant to support her sick widowed mother and younger sister. Ruby hates the job at the plant, and is approached by the handsome neighborhood bad boy about becoming a "Taxi Dancer" at a local dance hall. Ruby quits her job at the plant; lying to her mother and sister that she has taken a job as a telephone operator, and begins her job as a dancer-for-hire. Lonley men come to the dance hall and pay Ruby and the other girls to dance with them. Ruby learns quickly from the other girls how to get other perks like dresses, jewelry, etc. from the men who pay to dance. (The dancers nickname these fellas "fish").

Ruby has to be scrappy to survive the dark side of Chicago during the difficult era she lives in, and is forced to make many hard decisions to get her life back on track. This is a wonderful coming of age story about family loyalty, first love, self-respect and preservation. Although Ruby has to learn many difficult lessons, you'll find yourself cheering for her as she fights to come out on top in the end.

Have a GREAT week!

1 comment:

  1. I always love your book recommendations, Becky, so this one goes on my "must read" list ASAP! Thanks, Sweetie!


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