Liza Ketchum author educator
Dancing on the Table
Minstrel Books
ISBN 0-671-73829-1
drawings by Ronald Himler
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Dancing on the Table

 

About the Book

When Jenny discovers her beloved Nana is going to marry the “Gray Man,” she decides to wish on her lucky rabbit’s foot in order to ruin the wedding. A hurricane nearly spoils the ceremony and makes it seem as if her wishes are coming true—or are they? An unexpected accident allows Jenny to discover there’s room in Nana’s heart for Jenny and the Gray Man, too.

Reviews

“The book’s fast pacing will propel readers through the story, which…is bolstered by strong characterizations, especially that of Nana, a grandmother who is young at heart.” (Booklist)

Behind the Book

FAQ: What inspired you to write this story?

When I was four years old my grandmother, Weezie, was remarried in the middle of a hurricane. She left for her honeymoon while the storm knocked over the pine tree in our front yard, tossed slate tiles off the roof, and blew our barn doors down the road. All my relatives camped on our living room floor. We sang songs and told stories by candlelight, to drown out the howling wind. Years later, my cousin Jonny said, “You ought to write a story about that night.” Great idea! My grandmother had died recently, so writing the book allowed me to bring her back to life on the page.

FAQ: Do you base your characters on people you know?

Yes and no. Most of my characters are invented but some, like Nana, have characteristics taken from real people. For example, my real grandmother also loved parties—and sometimes danced on the table! But she didn’t have a white stripe in her hair, or live in Maine. Creating a character is like mixing a tossed salad. I take a little bit of this person, a little bit of that one, and add personality traits I invent, until a real character jumps off the page. Some characters have qualities that remind me of myself—but I often don’t realize it until the book is done.
   
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