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Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina
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Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  14 reviews
An inspiring picture book for little ballerinas everywhere!

Ready to Fly is the true story of Sylvia Townsend, an African American girl who falls in love with ballet after seeing Swan Lake on TV.

Although there aren’t many ballet schools that will accept a girl like Sylvia in the 1950s, her local bookmobile provides another possibility. A librarian helps Sylvia find a book
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Pam  Page
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
The impact of a bookmobile is shared in this wonderful true story about a ground-breaking ballerina!
Katie Furze
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The heartwarming true story of Sylvia Townsend and how she overcame considerable obstacles to realize her dream of becoming a ballerina. The text flows beautifully and the illustrations are appealing. A note from Sylvia Townsend at the beginning adds authenticity, and the back-matter helpfully provides more details about the time setting, and the history of bookmobiles.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love the opening author’s note from Sylvia Townsend about hopes and dreams. The hopes for parents, for the book, and for children are really something special.

The illustrations, including the details like the wood paneling, rugs, and furniture in the rooms of the house, transport you to the past.

I love that Sylvia takes matters into her own hands to make herself tutus, and get books to teach herself about ballet. This go-get-it attitude is exactly what we hope to instill in our
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
READY TO FLY is a biography of Sylvia Townsend and how she became a ballerina. She always loved to dance and could feel it through her whole body. She would even help teach the other children from the neighborhood from her stoop.

When her teacher notices Sylvia's talent, she offers to pay for her to learn dancing lessons. However, she grew up in a time where African Americans faced struggles like not being accepted into a ballet class. So, she continues to teach the others and then they perform
Fiona Halliday
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely tale about Sylvia Townsend, a little girl determined to become a ballerina in pre-civil rights America with the help of her local book mobile. Her courage and resoluteness are truly inspiring - this is a tale that will be appreciated by any child interested in ballet or American history. There is a beautiful forward from Sylvia Townsend herself and interesting backmatter detailing the history of the book mobile. The illustrations and lively, sweet and flow beautifully with a soft warm ...more
This is an excellent book, but because it's trying to cover several issues in such a short book, it has small flaws. For instance, it's trying to cover a girl's love of dance, her love of books, the support she gets from teachers, family and librarians, and the flaws of a segregated society, all in 40 pages.
That said, it's a wonderful introduction to Sylvia Townsend and her personal legacy as a dancer and a dance teacher. It's also a very inspirational book about learning things on your own and
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really loved the illustrations of this book! Something about the lines, from the lines of texture in Sylvia's hair to the wavy lines of her tutu, were really lovely and added a certain charm to the illustrations. The story, too, was fun and it was nice to read about the history of a woman I'd never heard of before. The tie-in between her biography and the bookmobile and its history felt a little lacking, like the authors could have connected the two a bit better, but this was ultimately a fun, ...more
Julie Abery
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ready to Fly is the truly inspirational story of Sylvia Townsend who taught herself ballet with books from the traveling bookmobile. What a positive story for children and young ballerinas of perseverance and overcoming hurdles. Nothing is impossible! Lyon and LaFaye's lovely lyrical writing and joyful illustrations by Jessica Gibson dance you through every page. A delight to read and a new story discovery for me!
Kaye Baillie
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. The story of a little girl who wants to learn ballet is told with warm and powerful text and colorful adorable illustrations. It's a story of courage in the face of adversity and is a wonderful way to show children they can be what they want. There is excellent back matter for further learning. Top story.
Mariah Akin
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! It is a great read to learn about African American History. This would not only be great to read for Black history month but throughout the school year so that Children will always know about this type of History. This pictures in this book are very real and beautiful.
Judy Ripke
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: previews, diversity
This wonderful book can inspire all children to pursue their dreams and to use the library to help get you there.
Edward Sullivan
The inspiring, uplifiting story about how Townsend realized her childhood dream.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written story about an African-American girl who wants to be a ballerina in a world of dance that is predominantly white. It's an inspirational story for all.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Interesting biography about Sylvia Townsend’s desire to dance and a bookmobile that helped her reach her goal.
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