Have you read other Noel Streatfields, like Apple Bough? A family of Prodigies, Boy plays (?)violin to concert standard, girl does ballet brilliantly, oldest sister 'just' keeps the family together.... our heroine.
Then there were 'Thursday's child' and 'Far to go', about a foundling becoming an actress (as I remember), with a matron of an orphanage as her deadly enemy.
And you score nostalgia points again! I loved the shoes books, but my favorite was also Ballet Shoes. I loved how the girls' took the last name Fossil to go with the old guy's collections. :)
Next thing you're going to be telling me you also loved Elizabeth Enright's "The Saturdays", "The Four-Story Mistake", "Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze", etc. :)
This was one of my favorite books in elementary school. I don't know how many times I took it out, but I remember that it was a yellowed hard cover.
I'm not a huge fan of "You've Got Mail," but I do love the scene in the box store when the patron asks for help finding "Ballet Shoes." I was practically jumping out of my seat with the requested information and with excitement at the fact that they were talking about it. Yes, I am that geeky.
FWIW (and tangentially), I spent a few months working at a big box book seller and found the employees to be a knowledgeable bunch who were eager to suggest new things for you to read. I didn't find customers (with the exception of grandparents buying for grandchildren far away) as receptive as I would have liked them to be. Could be a general statement about such customers or maybe just a statement about the customers in the greater-North Haven, CT, area. I have had some great conversations with fellow customers at my favorite D.C. bookshop, though.
I remember reading that to you - but it was in this house, so it must have been just for fun (because you could read when we moved here).
I loved those Shoe books! I bought them for Rachel but she didn't like them much. And The Saturdays! Dang it, I've got to pull out my old kidlit books.
I've heard of this series but not yet managed to read any.
I loved this book so much! They were all great, but as you say, this was the best. I made the cover of mine fall off with overreading :-(