September 20, 2017 by TinyNavajo
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
This is one of my favorite books, and that’s unusual to say as it’s a contemporary YA book. I don’t read these types of books usually, but I loved this one!
Veda is a skilled dancer in Indian bharatanatyam, classical Indian dance. After a competition one night, she ends up in a bus accident, and her right leg must be amputated. For a dancer of such high caliber, to lose her ability to not only dance but to walk is devastating. Veda is devastated but she learns that she is accepted to be part of an experimental program that creates prosthetics. The creator of the program, Jim, says that he’ll build her a new calf and foot that will allow her to dance with as much skill as she did before she was in the accident. But she needs to relearn how to walk before she can learn to dance again.
As she relearns how to walk, she learns how much support she receives from her family and friends, as well as from her old dance teacher. As she loses not only friends but her teacher, she finds new friends and a new teacher who actually believes in her. Veda needs to relearn how to dance, how to balance, how to trust herself to do what she used to do, and how to listen to the music that brought her to dance in the first place.
What I loved most about this book and a common theme that I’m finding in a lot of the teen/YA books are about finding who are you, discovering what it is that makes you you. And I love it! This story was especially beautiful as it showed a girl coming back to what brought her so much joy about dance in the first place. I also loved that this book was told in verse, not prose. It gave flight to the words and feelings that Veda was experiencing all throughout the book as she relearned who she was. This was a simply beautiful book and it’s one that I recommend everyone reads.
What do you think about writing books in verse? Do you like it? Or does it trip you up? Comment below and let me know!