To Dance-

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To Dance

a ballerina’s graphic novel

a memoir by Siena Cherson Siegel with artwork by Mark Siegel

published by Atheneum Books in 2006

Robert Sibert Honor Book

Robert Sibert Honor Book

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I loved this graphic novel- featuring  the talented ballerina Siena Cherson Siegel.  Her story is inspiring-  as a child- she had flat feet-even though doctors discouraged her from even trying to correct this problem- she and her mother persevered.  Pursuing her passion to dance- filled her days and nights. This book accurately portrays the extreme dedication required to become a high level performance artist.  There are gruelling and repetitive conditioning exercises along side blood, sweat and tears.   These are balanced by glamorous and exciting performances- beautiful costumes, all enhanced by enchanting music.

I enjoyed the honest and unflinching perspective of a teenager- grappling with her changing body and the difficulties of going through puberty in a very public space.  The complex relationships between the dance company were also fascinating to read.  I would recommend this book- to young people age 11 and above- especially for those who are interested in competitive sports and obviously those who are interested in dance.

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