Review of To Dance

To Dance
by Siena Cherson Siegel; illus. by Mark Siegel
Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    86 pp.
10/19    978-1-4814-8663-7    $19.99
Paper ed.  978-1-4814-8664-4    $11.99
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8665-1    $8.99

Even more effectively than the original, this special edition of the 2006 graphic memoir about Cherson Siegel’s youth as a School of American Ballet student embodies the paradox of ballet: that every moment of seeming effortlessness on stage is the product of years of grueling work. Softened outlines and delicately hued watercolor washes depict young Siena’s long-cherished dream and the ethereal-looking dancers, while extended, well-paced panel sequences convey the tedium and immense physical toll of training. A spacious redesigned layout heightens the emotional effect and nicely echoes the memoir’s closing line: “Dancing fills a space in me.” Six new scrapbook pages of photos and ephemera are appended.

From the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine.

Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, formerly editor of The Horn Book Guide, is a freelance children’s and YA editor. She's also a former bookseller who holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons University. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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