In the middle of Friday night's Il Trovatore, I suddenly thought of Tennis Shoes. No idea why, but it must be time for a re-read.
Update: First read in 1984/85. My Dell Yearling copy is not quite as tattered as my copy of Ballet Shoes, but it's definitely falling apart. I've never had any interest in any sport involving a ball, net, puck, bat, racquet, etc., so it's to Streatfeild's great credit that I enjoy this book as much as the other Shoes books.
Her story devices and characters are similar to the other books, but that's a comforting quality to me. Plus, with such a common structure to all the books, it's fun to pick out the differences that arise among them. I happily nominate Nicky Heath as the cheekiest of all the Streatfeild characters.
As a kid, I most enjoyed the concentration exercises that Nicky's siblings dream up for her. Now I have a greater appreciation for Annie - the first one to spot and encourage Nicky's talent. I also like the contrast between Susan's aching desire to blend in and Nicky's refusal to conform.