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The Lovely Shoes

By Susan Shreve


Can the right pair of shoes make anyone feel beautiful?

Franny is constantly embarrassed by two things in her life. One is her left foot, which curls in from a birth defect, so she has to wear ugly, heavy, orthopedic shoes. And the other is her mother Margaret: beautiful, extravagant, flamboyant - mortifying in their small Ohio town.

But high school brings a whole new set of challenges for Franny: Everyone else starts dating, her friends are bugging her to try out for cheerleading, and her first dance is a total disaster. Franny wants to lock herself in her room and never come out, but Margaret responds with a plan that's crazy even for her: They will travel to Italy to meet Salvatore Ferragamo, who will create a gorgeous pair of shoes custom-made for Franny. The idea is outrageous. The trip is expensive. And the experience changes Franny's life forever.

Inspired by a true story, The Lovely Shoes is a tearful, joyful tale of mothers, daughters, journeys, Italy, and the search for the perfect pair of shoes.


Reviews and Awards

“Celebrating the rewards of determination and a positive attitude, this atmospheric novel credibly depicts Franny’s internal growth and changing attitude. The contrast between smalltown Ohio and splendorous Florence provides an intriguing framework for the book’s classic themes.” - Publishers Weekly

“The delicious Italian dream-come-true is just plausible, while the conclusion, with Franny figuring out how to get her feet on the ground in her own sensible way, is just right.” - Horn Book

“Since this is Susan Shreve, master of subtle and wise perception, she’s not simply offering a story of a girl who finally gets pretty shoes; Franny’s exploration of what, for her, is possible and what is actually desirable is a trajectory of maturation. She experiences classical adolescence, with its storms treated humorously yet sympathetically… but she also undergoes a dawning awareness of herself, helped by her experiences in Italy, as a beautiful young woman possessed of independent free will.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This is a sweet, touching story about differences, cruelty, and finding out who you really are. Franny’s voice is authentic, and readers will experience, through her words, what it’s like to feel so very different from everyone else.” - School Library Journal 


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2011
Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 978-0-439-68049-3
Price: $16.99/$19.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 256
Foreign Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Translation Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Rights Available? yes


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