To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel

I happened to see this book at the library and picked it up. It’s subtitle is “A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel”, which sounded like something different from what we’ve seen in a graphic novel. So, I brought it home from the library.

Artist: Mark Siegel

Published: 2006

Genre: memoir graphic novel for children

Length: 64 pages

Setting: mostly New York City, late 1970s to the 1980s

Summary: We follow Siena’s life from a Kindergartner through her senior year of high school. She always loved to dance, and started dancing because she had flat feet. She soon excelled in her dancing, and took more and more rigorous classes. While she was originally from Puerto Rico, her family moved to New York City so she could attend the prestigious School of American Ballet. While studying there, she was able to perform in many ballets, even performing at the Lincoln Center. However, a bad ankle injury meant she quit studying dance as a senior.

Final thoughts: A beautifully illustrated description of the work and passion that goes into becoming a serious dancer. We see Siena grow in size and skills and time spent practicing through the book. I could also see her love of dance, and not just ballet, portrayed in the imagery of the graphic novel. I liked the fact that it was also an immigrant story, since Siena was originally from Puerto Rico, and moved to the U.S. to pursue her love of dance.

The book seems to be written for a younger audience as it doesn’t have too many words on a page. The words are mostly descriptive of what’s happening in Siena’s life, with very little dialogue in the book. I enjoyed the story, but I found the ending very abrupt. In the last two pages of the book, we find out she stopped dancing because of an injury, went to college, and then started dancing again because she missed it so much. The rest of the book seemed so lyrical and then end just happened so quickly.

Title comes from: It is descriptive of the topic. The author just wanted to dance

Reading challenges fulfilled: none, since it was so short

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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