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Gr. 4-8 Myers’ introduction is an essential part of this moving, contemporary retelling of the classic Swan Lake ballet story of beauty and grace that is threatened by violence. His setting is the Swan Lake Projects, where the street dangers are like folkloric evil spells and the basketball moves are as agile as dance steps. Young Amiri and Odette fall in love, but Odette is already involved with dangerous Big Red. With a rhyming rap beat (“A fight for three so vicious / A victory for love delicious”), Myers tells the tale in four terse acts that climax in Amiri’s triumphant standoff with Big Red, who is armed with knife and gun (“as cold steel flashes, a sharp blade slashes”). The book design, with colored type on dark backgrounds, is too busy, but Steptoe’s collage-on-cinder-block paintings, touched with magical realism, offer beautiful overviews of the neighborhood streets, the buildings, and the basketball court. — Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 12-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 7, p47)