Children: two. Education: Received B.A. and M.A.; coursework toward Ph.D.
Home and office—Davie, FL. E-mail—[email protected]
Amelia Bloomer Listee for Feminist Fiction, and New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age selection, both 2006, both for Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You.
Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
The Missing Silver Dollar ("Lindy Blues" mystery series), illustrated by Liza Woodruff, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.
The Big Scoop ("Lindy Blues" mystery series), illustrated by Liza Woodruff, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.
Prom Kings and Drama Queens, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2008.
Poetry anthologized in I Invited a Dragon to Dinner, Philomel, 2002; and Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture, Feminist Press, 2003. Short fiction included in Sports Shorts, Darby Creek, 2005. Contributor of poetry and essays to periodicals, including Parting Gifts, Paterson Literary Review, and FEMSPEC.
Before Dorian Cirrone decided to be a writer, she planned to become a ballet dancer and teacher. Although she remembers enjoying writing from third grade on, "the thought of actually being a writer never occurred to me," she wrote on her home page. While working as a dance instructor during college, Cirrone came up with the idea behind her first novel and filed it away for the future. Between the novel's inspiration and creation, she spent time as a journalist, attended graduate school, and had two children. It was while working on an uncompleted Ph.D. dissertation that Cirrone came across the line, from a Margaret Atwood poem, that made the plot threads connect: "dancing in red shoes will kill you." That moment "everything fell together," Cirrone recalled to Cynthia Leitich Smith for Cynsations online. "I wrote the first five chapters over a period of about nine months, and the rest a short time after." After passing the manuscript to an agent, Cirrone's novel Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You found a publisher in six weeks. Although she enjoys writing for all ages, Cirrone especially enjoys writing for children and young adults because books meant so much to her as a child. She still remembers the love she had for the books Ballet Shoes and Dancing Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.
Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You is the story of sixteen-year-old Kayla, a ballet student who is denied a part she feels she deserves because her breasts are too large. While Kayla struggles with the decision of whether or not to get breast-reduction surgery in order to continue in ballet, an issue of censorship over a feminist art project crops up at her high school. In addition, a picture of red dance slippers, accompanied by text that reads "Dancing in red shoes will kill you," begins appearing all over school An allusion to the fairy tale "The Red Shoes"—a tale of pride that could also be read as a story about curtailing women's rights—drives the story and also helps Kayla reevaluate her own self-image. "Cirrone is an author to watch," concluded School Library Journal contributor Susan Riley after reading Dancing in Red Shoes WillKill You. Noting that while the novelist's story contains humor, it also deals with serious issues involving censorship and feminism, Claire Rosser wrote in Kliatt that "it's terrific to have a cast of characters so talented, smart, and socially responsible." Jennifer Mattson, reviewing the novel for Booklist, commented that "Cirrone's debut novel convincingly portrays teens' repartee with the ever-fertile issues of gender politics and self-expression." A Publishers Weekly contributor maintained that "the mystery and its resolution … raise thought-provoking questions about cultural expectations for girls and women."
Written for slightly younger readers, Cirrone's "Lindy Blues" mystery series for middle-grade readers features an industrious fourth grader who produces her own neighborhood news show, taped on a camcorder by her brother. In The Missing Silver Dollar, Lindy investigates the disappearance of a coin on a slow news day, while The Big Scoop finds her tackling the mystery of a disappearing ice cream shop. "Tuned-in kids will enjoy Lindy's inventiveness as she scoops some really local news," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor in a review of The Missing Silver Dollar. A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised Lindy as "a spunky, likable heroine who thinks on her feet and truly embodies an entrepreneurial spirit."
Prom Kings and Drama Queens is the story of sixteen-year-old Emily Bennet, who has three desires: to go to the prom with Brian Harrington, to become editor of her school newspaper, and to take the world by storm. Emily gets close to Brian by becoming a matchmaker for his eccentric grandmother. She gets even closer to becoming editor when she and her journalistic competitor, Daniel Cummings, partner up to write an exposé of the excesses of prom. Emily's two worlds begin to collide when she must choose between going to the prom with Brian and keeping her word to Daniel to stage an alternative fundraiser prom.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 844; May, 2006, Hope Morrison, review of The Missing Silver Dollar, p. 394.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 2005, Deborah Stevenson, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 247.
Children's Bookwatch, October, 2006, review of The Big Scoop.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 50; March 1, 2006, review of The Missing Silver Dollar, p. 227; September 15, 2006, review of The Big Scoop, p. 949.
Kliatt, January, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 8; May, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, March 14, 2005, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 68; March 6, 2006, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 77.
School Library Journal, February, 2005, Susan Riley, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 132; September, 2006, Rachael Vilmar, review of The Missing Silver Dollar, p. 164; October, 2006, Adrienne Furness, review of The Big Scoop, p. 103.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2005, Cass Kvenild, review of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, p. 126.
Cynsations,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (September 22, 2005), Cynthia Leitich Smith, interview with Cirrone.
Dorian Cirrone Home Page,http://www.doriancirrone.com (August 6, 2007).
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/ (August 6, 2007), "Dorian Cirrone."