Whoopi Goldberg's Latest Book

Sugar Plum Ballerina’s author talks to Scholastic Kids Press Corps

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

World famous comedic actress and commentator Whoopi Goldberg is adding to her list of careers: she is also a children’s’ book author. Her most recent book is a sequel to Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic. It is the second book in the series, and it is called Sugar Plum Ballerinas #2: Toeshoe Trouble.
  
As the central character in the book, Brenda Black, who is nine years old, wants to be a doctor. She admires Leonardo Da Vinci and reads anatomy books to get a head start on medical school. Her well-ordered life with her mom in a small apartment in Harlem goes topsy-turvy when her spoiled cousin Tiffany comes to visit.

Tiffany’s constant bragging gets out of control, so Brenda tells her that she has a pair of toe shoes signed by Camilla Freeman, a very famous prima ballerina. Tiffany thinks Brenda doesn’t even know who Camilla Freeman is. But Brenda takes ballet classes (even though she doesn’t want to) and knows all too well—the autographed pair really belongs to Ms. Debbe, her ballet teacher. When Tiffany demands to see the shoes, Brenda calls on her friends to help solve the problem.

Goldberg was inspired to write the books for kids who are forced to do things they are not necessarily interested in.

“People who I know have their daughters in ballet, and their daughters aren’t really interested in ballet,” Goldberg told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. “Their mothers were more interested in seeing their kids do things that they were not able to do when they were kids.”

In Goldberg’s own experience, it was just the opposite. She didn’t have the opportunity to take dance lessons until she was an adult. As a child, she dreamed of being a dancer.

“Becoming a ballerina wasn’t really an option when I was a kid,” she said.

The book series, which is written for girls ages 9-12 years old, was not originally intended to be inspirational, says Goldberg. Her goal is to make people laugh, although they may also learn to have a good time in life.

“These girls are like other girls these days, whose parents might get them into doing something they don’t necessarily have much interest in,” she said. “They’re doing it to please their folks. So, I guess the real bottom line is to have a good time while you’re doing that.”

For those of you that want to follow in Goldberg’s footsteps as a multi-talented author, actor and comedian, here is what she has to say to you!

“Make sure that having a good time is important, and that laughing a lot is important,” she said. “ As long as those two things are present in one’s life, the ability to be a creative person will never leave you.”

Goldberg plans to write four more books in the Sugar Plum Ballerinas series, which may become a TV show or movie, she said. Once that decision is made, she will then decide whether to use animation or actors. It’s all about being creative!

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Scholastic Kids Press Corps

The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of 32 student reporters who report "news for kids, by kids." Sports, politics, and entertainment are among the topics they cover.