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A Time to Dance

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,762 ratings  ·  666 reviews
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
Veda, a classica
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Wilder I think it's a small piece, but not the most important part. As Reem said, the importance lies in Veda renewing zest in her life through the circumsta…moreI think it's a small piece, but not the most important part. As Reem said, the importance lies in Veda renewing zest in her life through the circumstances. It's actually more realistic that romance plays some part, but isn't the only part.(less)
Upneet The name of the guy is Jim, but when he leaves the person who takes care of Veda's leg is Dr. Murali.…moreThe name of the guy is Jim, but when he leaves the person who takes care of Veda's leg is Dr. Murali.(less)

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★ Belinda the Happy Dark Witch ★
The simplest words are the most beautiful.

Padma Venkatraman has introduced a new writing-style to me that's allowed the simply beautiful story of Veda to dance into my life and enter her dauntless journey of pain, growth, acceptance, and spirituality.

❃ Namaskaram ❃

I am absolutely speechless.

Veda's story is like a whimsical melody on a loop page after page. Each page opening our eyes to the beauty of Indian culture and Hinduism as she expresses her passion for Bharatanatyam dance, a class
Reading_ Tamishly
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read this two years ago and still memorable. Underrated memoir in verse 👍

Biographical fiction in poetry!

Loved it.
The book talks about how she began dancing inspite of the opposing gestures of her mother.
Her only strong support being her 'Paati' her grandma.
Tragedy struck with one of her legs getting amputated.
This is a story about grit, self respect and finding love.
Love the way it was written👍
Padma Venkatraman
Jul 26, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
This is my third novel!
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is only the 2nd verse novel I've ever read, and what a good one! Not only did it introduce me to the art of Bharatanatyam dance, but I loved the very real struggles Veda has as dancer, artist, amputee, daughter, and friend. I especially love the way this book explored dance as a spiritual (as well as artistic) form.

I think the verse format helped tell the story, focusing us in on specific moments, images, and emotion. Venkatraman does much with few words, painting vivid pictures of Veda, he
One of the most beautiful verse novels I've ever read. ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was beautifully written and the author did a good job showing Veda's journey through her grief and loss. ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Achingly beautiful and all about the beauty and art of bharatanatyam, an Indian form of dance.

- Follows Veda, an Indian teen living in India whose passion is to dance. When an accident results in her getting a below-knee amputation, she reconnects and searches for the meaning and reason for why she dances.
- This is a story written in verse, and there were so many beautiful lines and moments where the intersections of religion, culture, and tradition meet.
- Not only is the story about Veda findi
Disability in Kidlit
"Veda isn’t a two-dimensional disabled vehicle for the able-bodied reader’s gaze. Yes, amputation takes a toll and Venkatraman explores that, but she goes beyond that too. Veda is a fully formed, likeable, realistically flawed teenager, building and navigating complex relationships with family and friends, dealing pretty well with an awful situation, and having all kinds of normal teenager-y experiences.

The parts of the book that do explore losing a leg were difficult for me to read, but very re
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've only read a few novels written in verse but this is by far the best one I have read. The writing style is so lyrical and moves so nicely. I had such a great time reading this and learning about Indian culture, which was very interesting. This book is so unique and inspiring.

I really enjoyed this book. 5 stars.
this was such a stunning novel written in poetry, and the desi rep made my heart happy!! i would recommend this to everyone, honestly - it's such a poignant and powerful book about healing, dance, and more.

4 stars
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing

The priest's laugh rumbles up into my ears.
"Place a hand on your chest.
Can you feel Shiva's feet moving inside you?"
I press on my chest. Feel bony ribs. Under them, thumping,
faint echoes of a dance rhythm.

A Time to Dance tells the story of Veda, who lives for Bharatanatyam, the classical Indian dance form she excels at. Her rising talent is starting to draw in all sorts of challenges: rivalry with other dancers, distance from her friends, and anger from her mother, who wants her to be an engi
Book Concierge
Veda has been studying classical dance with a master in Chennai India. She lives and breathes dance. She is dedicated and works hard, but her mother feels she should be applying herself to a goal of being an engineer or doctor. When a devastating injury requires the amputation of her leg Veda is at first defeated and angry, but soon vows to learn again how to use the gifts she has. With renewed determination she begins again, following her dream to become the best interpreter of the Bharantanaty ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
WOAH. Beautiful. I loved how it talked about dance because that's how I feel about when I act. Awesome. I'm recomending everyone read this especily if theyre a creative person. ...more
Oct 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2021
Beautifully written book. It just stirs so many emotions. Reminded me of the joy of reading about people like me, from the same place I hail from, with traditions I follow too.

This is a book about overcoming a tragedy, learning to dream, hope and live again through the medium of dance.

Veda is a teenager for whom classical dance(Bharatnatyam) is everything. Despite her mother's disapproval, the pain of hours of practice, all she cares about is perfecting her stance and movements. Losing her leg
This is a novel in verse, so I was hoping to continue my streak of finishing a book a day. However, despite being much easier to read, it took me about a week to finish because the verse itself was not really enticing as poetry. I was missing the kind of dripping imagery and crafted rhythm that pulls me into poems in the first place. This felt more like simple sentences and straight story telling broken up to look like poetry based on the length of the sentences on paper.

What intrigued me about
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just read the most quiet, sweet novel, my friends. A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman is a young adult verse book that doesn’t loudly declare itself, but kind of whispers. As weird as that sounds, it makes sense when you read it. Venkatramana’s book explores dance, growing up, and India. It’s a book that does not feel over the top at all, but rather subdued in a calming kind of way. I know I am being super cryptic, but A Time To Dance was really a peaceful kind of read for me. Don’t mistake ...more
Rylie Sewell
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Time to Dance is an amazing novel. This teenage girl named Veda is an amazing dancer, the best in her class in fact. But, one day she experiences a terrible accident that could ruin her dance career forever. So many bad experiences turn the course of her life. Will she fight through the pain? And will she reach back to her full potential? Or will she suffer?
Kym Moore
Feb 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Art should be about something larger and deeper than self." - Dr. Dhanam

"To me, Karma isn't about divine reward or retribution. Karma is about making wise choices to create a better future. It's taking responsibility for your actions. Karma helps me see every hurdle as a chance to grow into a stronger, kinder soul. -Paati

Let me begin by saying that this book written by Padma Venkatraman is an amazing and passionate love story on so many different levels. It is a story with a taste of the exotic
vaishnavi v.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
it was amazing to see my culture represented through this book. it carried the grace of dance along veda's journey, and though I'm not a dancer, I felt deeply invigorated by veda's pain and inner peace. now I wish I hadn't given up my carnatic music class on my sixth year. this book spoke to my heart.. now what are you still doing here? read it! ...more
A beautiful and very spiritually uplifting novel in verse featuring a differently abled protagonist and set in contemporary India.
I plucked this book off of a shelf at my local library because of the cover. The title didn't seem interesting to me but I thought it was intriguing that the book was such a warm color and that the girl on the cover wasn't white and that she was dressed in very cultural clothing. The synopsis didn't appeal to me, either, because this trope in books about someone with a disability finding the will to live their lives despite that injury or defect is overused and worn out. Yet. Something about thi ...more
Amrita Desmet
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this in three sittings because I could not put it down. I love this book because it is like nothing I have ever read before. It took a deeper look into something magical that I really enjoyed and understood. I've never read a book where the main character was so passionate and ambitious about what they wanted to do and it was highly inspiring. The author crafted the story really well and she used a great way of writing. I hadn't read a poetry story before this one but I quite enjoyed the ...more
Ashley W
I don't know why I liked this book so much more the second. Maybe I was more sympathetic? Or maybe I picked up on the emotional nuances more. Either way, I appreciate the growth and determination so much more this time around.

Notes in updates.

Ugh. I don't even feel like reviewing this book. I don't even know what I didn't like about it. Everything was just bland. I didn't relate to the Veda. Not because she's Indian or because of her accident. I just don't feel like the autho
Julie Suzanne
This novel in verse was even better as an audiobook (I read parts of both formats). There's no way that my own inner reading voice could have captured the onomatopoeic sounds that the dancers use in class and in their minds, and the Indian accent along with the poetry is beautiful music.

I have this in both the high school and middle school libraries, and that is perfect because this novel works for both audiences. Readers are immersed in Hindu culture along with traditional dance practices and
J L's Bibliomania
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
Sweet story
Told in free verse
A girl, a boy. Tragedy and joy.
A few moments where the words dance
I miss the rhythm and structure of classic poetry
Kim Clifton
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So lovely
Apr 08, 2014 added it
Shelves: pla14
Every book I read leaves me with some kind of impression. I frequently read novels that leave me bubbly with enjoyment or make my mind race as I analyze every praise-worthy aspect, but it is rarer for me to finish a book and feel struck with a sense of utter beauty. Going beyond gorgeous prose, the novels that make me feel this way tell tales with rich settings and vivid emotions. A Time to Dance is one of these books, and every aspect shines, from its backdrop to its story to its writing.

One of
John Clark
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Despite her mother's disapproval, Veda lives to dance. She shares in an apartment with her parents and her grandmother. Gram was widowed early and at a time when Indian women had a hard time working, she went back to school and became a teacher. Veda's parents bucked tradition, too. Her mother came from a wealthy family, but was disowned when she married someone from a different caste. Dad is a librarian, Mom works in a bank. They aren't rich, but are happy, even though Mom struggles with Veda's ...more
Emily Knapp
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing

In the heart-warming book A Time To Dance, written by Padma Venkatraman, a young girl is forced to relearn the Indian dance bharatanatyam. Veda has worked on her dancing skills for a long time, and she finally won a competition, but shortly after she encounters an accidents that causes her to become a below-knee amputee. Veda has to work hard to relearn bharatanatyam, but she is willing to do that even if it means finding a different meaning to dance. I loved this book for many reasons, and one
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Veda is a Bharatanatyam dancer in Chennai who has just won an important competition, one that could maybe convince her parents that she's serious about becoming a professional dancer. A car wreck on the way home destroys her foot, and her leg is amputated below the knee. Veda struggles to recover when she's offered the chance to join a medical trial and get an advanced prosthetic.

I know the barest bit of Bharatanatyam from my lessons on South Indian music. Author Padma Venkatraman allowed me to
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American author, Padma Venkatraman, has worked as chief scientist on oceanographic ships and spent time under the sea, directed a school, and lived in 5 countries. Her 5 novels, BORN BEHIND BARS, THE BRIDGE HOME, A TIME TO DANCE, ISLAND’S END and CLIMBING THE STAIRS, were released to multiple starred reviews (22 as of 8/30/21), and won numerous honors and awards (e.g. WNDB Walter Award 2020; SCBWI ...more

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“My skin tingles as I step into the music,
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