Various Positions

Martha Schabas

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she's dancing. When she is accepted into Canada's preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it's not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina.


Read an Excerpt


I found the envelope in a pile of letters on the hallway radiator. It was white, flat, ordinary as any envelope except for the strange look of my name across the front. I wasn’t used to getting mail. There was a logo in the corner, the curving, antique script of the Royal Toronto Ballet Academy. I took the envelope up to my room. My fingers were stupid with adrenaline, and as I ripped off the top, I tore the letter too. I read the time and date of my audition aloud and recorded the information on the Gelsey Kirkland calendar above my desk, filling the March 27 box with


Praise for Various Positions

"...nuanced and disturbing..."--BCCB
“In this unique coming-of-age story, Georgia is a troubled 14-year-old, and her struggles to understand her burgeoning sexuality and her journey through adolescence are particularly rocky.”--School Library Journal
“A thought-provoking look at femininity and sex, made all the more confusing by  that ultimate contact sport—ballet.” --Kirkus
"Schabas skillfully weaves themes of power, communication, trust, intimacy, and betrayal through this character-driven tale, as 14-year-old ballet dancer Georgia struggles to find a place where she belongs and people she can trust." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Presenting a richly nuanced portrait of a young woman struggling to make meaning of the mixed messages and complexities of the world surrounding her, Various Positions is a cross between a modern day Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? by Judy Blume and Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There.” --VOYA

In the Press

VARIOUS POSITIONS by Martha Schabas | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of VARIOUS POSITIONS . Georgia's first year at a prestigious Toronto ballet academy is fraught with conflicts arising from her parents' disintegrating marriage and the blurred lines between her awakening sexuality and a most physical art form.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Martha Schabas

  • Martha Schabas trained in classical ballet as a child. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she received the David Higham Literary Award. She lives in Toronto, Canada. Various Positions is her first novel.




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Various Positions

Martha Schabas

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year