Part of a dance team who have turned from friends to enemies. Dealing with her dead brother’s ghost -- things sure aren't easy for Jessie! Her brother James -- sports star, popular kid, and apple of her parents' eyes -- has died in an accident, leaving Jessie to cope with her parents, classmates and stagefright.
Things haven't been easy for Jessie since her brother James - sports star and popular kid - died. Her mum and dad are lost in grief and she's feeling isolated at school; when the popular girls on her dance team give her a hard time, she just can't seem to remember the routines …
… and Jessie can still see James. Talk to him, or quarrel with him, more like! They always bickered when James was alive, so why change now?
But James might turn out to be her unlikely saviour. Along with Alan, the dorky new boy, can he give Jessie the confidence to show the rest of the dance team what she's got … and help her and her parents on the road towards healing?
Funny, sharp and poignant, a story about living with a ghost, and the pain of letting go.
'Ireland’s answer to the Sky is Everywhere and Evermore. Holding a mirror up to the Irish school yard was never going to be easy and Prendergast has collected nuggets of fast and accurate scenes ... something new and interesting from O’Brien Press'
'a compelling, deeply affecting read. Prendergast has captured such an authentic teenage girl’s voice ... Certainly one of the best Irish teen novels I’ve read this year and bang on the zeitgeist.'
'Prendergast’s refreshingly original take on family grief and teenage relationships in contemporary Dublin tackles these sensitive subjects with an openness and honesty that should be applauded'
'a very imaginative story with authentic teen dialogue ... suitable for age 10 and upwards'
'well done to the author of this book'
'the dialogue touched me as the main characters are strong enough to have a lasting impression on you'
'the book’s themes cover clique mentality, bullying, family life and loss, things a teenage girl might go through'
'instantly accessible ... could definitely be used as a class novel'
'a sentimental and succinctly written novel which would be suitable for 5th and 6th class boys and girls'
'Jessie's relationship with her dead brother is fabulously portrayed and is as comical as it is moving'
'Dancing in the Dark covers many themes, including dealing with grief, sibling rivalry, family relationships, friendships, and coping with bullying. I chose to review it ... because of the fantastic way it deals with this last topic, although I found this
'This is Prendergast's first full-length novel and represents an impressive achievement' 4 stars
'Prendergast's first person prose is linguistically simple but emotionally powerful, his insights into the many facets of family grieving are perceptive and sympathetic and there are some nicely observed social nuances in his Irish school setting'
'While 'coping with loss' has served as theme for numerous children's and young adult novels, it is given considerable freshness here'
'I loved this book!'
'The success for Prendergast marks yet another rights win for O’Brien Press who have been at the forefront of rights sales by Irish publishers in the last few years securing record rights sales for their author Celine Kiernan and her Moorehawk Trilogy.'
'Dancing in the Dark is the story of Jesse’s attempt to adjust to life after the untimely death of her sibling James. In language that is both compelling and affecting, and without recourse to philosophizing, this work of fiction sensitively conveys the d
'a sensitive, poignant look at grief as well as a readable story with a sympathetic heroine'
'Engaging ... Tracing the pain of letting go, Prendergast’s unsentimental writing and authentic dialogue were particularly evocative.'
'possibly one of the most beautiful and engaging books I’ve read in a long time ... 'Prendergast writes Jessie’s tale with a dreamlike, yet very grounded style.'
'Prendergast masterfully captures Jessie’s sibling relationship with James, from the petty jibing to the subtle emotional dialogue ... would make an excellent classroom novel for fifth and sixth'
'sensitive, funny and poignant novel of a teenage girl, Jess, coming to terms with the death of her older brother ... the bickering, squabbling, insult-laden but loving relationship that exists between teenage siblings is depicted with humour and affectio
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney