Beth's Reviews > To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel

To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel
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's review
Jul 11, 2010

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bookshelves: latina-o

Siena wanted to dance more then anything else in the world. She loved how dancing made her feel, and how successful she was at it. Her favorite type of dance was ballet. Siena was originally from Puerto Rico and came to the United States to attend The School of American Ballet. She enjoyed performing and making new friends with the other ballerinas. In her early teens ballet was an escape from the growing problems and tensions between her parents. Siena loved ballet and danced until the age of 17 when she suffered a sever ankle injury. She went on to college and was successful, but still dances for pleasure today.
This story is told in a graphic novel format. The illustrations in each cell are beautiful and really capture the emotion of the story. I think that many students would be drawn to this text because of the small amount of print, but powerful and inspiring story. The genre is nonfiction/memoir. I would recommend this story for ages 10-13. The author references the harshness of her parents divorce and her worries about her breast which might not be appropriate for children under 10. I would use this book in my classroom when discussing writing biographies, memoirs, or journals. It would be a great model text to use with students to show how there are multiple ways to chronicle life experiences. I would read this selection with other memoirs or biographies of famous people. I really like how this story moves away from just singers, movie stars, or athletes stories. I would want to encourage that everyone has a story, whether you are famous of not.

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message 1: by Ruth (new)

Ruth How do you feel this text includes references to culture? Is the book culturally specific, or more generic? Also, do you have any related/recommended titles to use with this particular book?

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