Lynn Swanson

Summer Dance

"Oh, my gosh. I loved this book. It's my favorite book of all time. I read it in two weeks because I was so interested in it."
–Leah, age 11

"Summer Dance is cheerful and stunning. I like it so much that I can't stop reading it."
–Shannon, age 10


Sara must find creative ways to cooperate with her competition as she struggles technically and socially to achieve what she wants: a scholarship to return to camp next summer. She is a passionate dancer who finds her nemesis, Robin, an obstacle in her path at nearly every turn. It isn't Sara's fault that Robin sprains her ankle when Sara goes out in the woods late at night to search for her missing cabin mate, even though Sara's flashlight shines in Robin's eyes as she tries to cross an old plank over a creek. It isn't Sara's fault that she then gets to dance Robin's part in the ballet they are dancing for visiting members of the San Francisco Ballet. Things get more complicated when Robin flirts with the boy Sara likes and Robin's handsome lifeguard kisses Sara at the ice cream party. To make things worse, Robin chooses the same costume Sara does for the student concert and demands that Sara choose something different. If that isn't enough, Sara is paired with Robin for the final dance performance. The three scholarship winners will be announced after the performance on this exciting night. There is plenty of friction as Robin accuses Sara of not dancing their part correctly. Sara must find a way to bring peace and a scholarship-worthy performance while adhering to the camp's values of Leadership, Cooperation, Enthusiasm and Improvement. She wants more than anything to become a professional ballet dancer.

"Fiction with real insight and heart"
–Dance Advantage Blog

"Young dancers should be easily drawn into the passions and frustrations of Sara and her friends and the nicely evoked upper Michigan setting."
Publisher’s Weekly

"A beautifully constructed treasure! The dancers grow with their acquired skills. A gem not to be missed."
–Joan Arena, Amazon.com

"Summer Dance is a heart-warming story about a young girl's dream that provides an insider's view of summer fine arts camps. Watching Sara and the other characters develop not only as dancers but also as leaders and supportive friends is the best aspect of this book."
–Mary Cary Crawford, ForeWord Reviews

Selected Works

Young Reader Fiction
Caraboose takes over for the tooth fairies when they go on vacation.
Middle Reader Fiction
Sara spends her first summer away from home at a prestigious northern Michigan dance camp.
Sara returns to Lakewood determined to win a scholarship to the NY City Ballet school.

Quick Links