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A Time to Dance

Venkatraman, Padma

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
A Time to Dance
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In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.
Publisher: New York :, Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,, [2014]
ISBN: 0399257101
9780399257100
Characteristics: 307 pages ;,22 cm

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From the time that Veda is a tiny girl dancing has been her whole life. But when her leg is amputated below the knee she wonders: Why did God do this to me and Will I ever dance again?
Written in free verse.

Thank you for this review - your last few sentences show valuable insight!

Jul 13, 2014
  • jayliss rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

How many times did I cry? Well, a couple. And by "a couple," I mean 20.

Through short chapters of free-verse poetry, Padma Venkatraman does more than tell the story of a girl named Veda. Through her first-person stanzas and the way Venkatraman describes her thoughts, I felt like I was Veda. And Veda is a character so real that a story that could be clich├ęd - a girl with one leg learns the power of perseverance and starts to dance again - is believable, inventive, and powerful.

I could really relate to Veda - and a few chapters in I realized that it wasn't even because the author was attempting to make her "relatable." Most YA books feature female protagonists who are a dichotomy of "striking" but also "painfully average" along the lines of "she'd never been pretty" and "I'm not beautiful", as if being as average and universal as possible were enough to make a protagonist realistic. But this book was remarkable in that it skipped all that. Veda doesn't look in the mirror and lament about herself in the first chapter. Venkatraman focuses instead on making Veda REAL - conflicted, flawed, determined, and most of all herself - and the "relatability" takes care of itself.

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app11 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52