|Time to dance|
Author: Venkatraman, Padma
In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 171065
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 66675
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/14)
School Library Journal (+) (00/04/14)
Booklist (+) (04/15/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/09/14)
The Hornbook (00/07/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2014 Gr 6 Up—Despite the pressure from her parents to become an engineer, Veda dreams of being a dancer. She studies the classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam, and has reached the competition finals. Impressed with her graceful lines and skill, the judges award her first place, and Veda is ecstatic. After posing for pictures, she is injured in an accident on the way home and her leg has to be amputated below the right knee. Devastated, she lies in her hospital bed devoid of hope until one day her doctor introduces her to a specialist from America. He sparks optimism in her because he understands that she needs to dance. Eventually Veda receives a prosthetic limb that allows her to walk and dance once again. She finds a new teacher for whom dance is more than a technical performance; it is an art form. Veda is placed with a student teacher, Govinda, who not only supports her as she relearns and strengthens her dancing but also becomes her friend. This exceptional novel, told entirely in verse, captures beautifully the emotions of a girl forced to deal with a number of challenges and how she overcomes them on her way to becoming a confident young woman. It is sure to appeal to readers who are also trying to find their place in the world.—Laura Fields Eason, Henry F. Moss Middle School, Bowling Green, KY - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2014 *Starred Review* Veda lives with her warm, traditional parents and sweet grandmother, Paati. She blissfully expresses herself through dance, even though engineering is her expected career goal. When tragedy strikes, she struggles to find her rhythm using her new, severely diminished physicality. In Venkatraman’s delectably scented, sensual world, lyrically told through verse and through Veda, life is illuminated as a beautiful celebration of doing what comes naturally as well as one is able. Veda’s awakening of her gift throughout her altered body and revolutionary prosthesis provides a spiritually uplifting premise. As her dance instructor and love interest, Govinda, persuades her, “Our ancient scriptures say the best dancers must have ten talents: balance, agility, steadiness, grace, intelligence, dedication, hard work, the ability to sing well, to speak well, and to see deeply and expressively. You’ve only lost the first three talents. Only for a while.” The acclaimed author of Climbing the Stairs (2008) deftly shapes readers’ comprehension of physical ability into a new arc of understanding. To even have a passing thought that Veda is disabled, rather than differently abled, would be utter madness. Set amid a cardamom-, melted butter-, and semolina sojji-infused landscape, the novel’s emotional expression and accompanying music impel the reader to share Veda’s belief that “Shiva dances everywhere. In everyone. In everything.” - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2014 Veda Venkat has wanted to study traditional Bharatanatyam dance ever since she was a young girl. When she’s returning home after winning first place at the regional dance competition in Chennai, her vehicle crashes; Veda is caught under the wreckage and ultimately ends up having her leg amputated. Though she initially believes she has lost the art she loves, she eventually acquires a prosthetic, and a new dance teacher helps Veda to use her pain to learn to dance in an entirely new way. This is a deftly wrought free-verse exploration of Veda’s physical and emotional suffering juxtaposed with her passion for dancing. The novel effectively conveys the depth of Veda’s love for her art, making her initial loss of dance emotionally wrenching and her return to it triumphant. The language is lilting and rhythmic, especially in the descriptions of dance, and the sensory elements evocatively describe the sights and sounds of Veda’s rich Indian surroundings. Her existential ponderings, as she attempts to figure out and make peace with her new reality, are woven seamlessly into the tale, and her moments of jealousy and rage are presented honestly. Heartachingly hopeful and beautifully written, this story will remain with readers long after the final line of verse. HM - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.