cover image House of Dance

House of Dance

Beth Kephart, . . HarperTeen/Geringer, $16.99 (262pp) ISBN 978-0-06-142928-6

Distinguished more by its sharp, eloquent prose than by its plot, Kephart’s (Undercover ) second YA novel probes the fear of loss by introducing a heroine who overcomes it. Abandoned by her father years ago, emotionally distant from her mother, who is caught up in an affair with her married boss, 15-year-old Rosie spends much of the summer before junior year with her terminally ill, widower grandfather, helping him sort through his belongings, all of them stuffed with mementos. As his health rapidly declines, Rosie realizes: “You cannot buy a man who is dying a single meaningful thing. You can only give him back the life he loved and awaken the memories.” Determined to retrieve the time her grandfather misses most, when music filled the evenings and he could watch his wife dance, Rosie sets about throwing a dance party at her grandfather’s house. Poetically expressed memories and moving dialogue both anchor and amplify the characters’ emotions. Ages 12–up. (June)