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A Time to Dance
Contributor(s): Venkatraman, Padma

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ISBN: 0147514401     ISBN-13: 9780147514400
Publisher: Speak
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: May 2015

Annotation: Losing her leg after a devastating injury, talented Indian dancer Veda begins retraining on her prosthetic leg before falling in love with a young man who approaches dance from a spiritual perspective and who helps Veda to better understand herself and the world. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Novels in verse.
Dance; Fiction.
Amputees; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2015018741
Lexile Measure: 720
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 0.75" (0.65 lbs) 307 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 171065
Reading Level: 4.8   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 5.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q66675
Reading Level: 4.4   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 10.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall)
This free-verse novel set in contemporary India stars Veda, a teenage Bharatanatyam dancer. After a tragic accident, one of Veda's legs must be amputated below the knee. Veda tries a series of customized prosthetic legs, determined to return to dancing as soon as possible. Brief lines, powerful images, and motifs of sound communicate Veda's struggle to accept her changed body.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2014 #4)
This free-verse novel set in contemporary India stars Veda, a teen who has been studying Bharatanatyam, a classical devotional dance of India, since childhood. When she's selected as a finalist in a Bharatanatyam competition, Veda feels validated for her long years of hard work and hopeful that she may win some grudging respect from her disapproving mother. On the way home from her first-place triumph at the competition (in perhaps overly dramatic timing), one of Veda's legs is maimed in a van accident and must be amputated below the knee. Veda tries a series of customized prosthetic legs, determined to return to dancing as soon as possible. Brief lines, powerful images, and motifs of sound communicate Veda's difficult struggle to accept her changed body -- and her new limitations, especially in dance: "'She was a dancer, that one'... / Not 'was.' / Am. Am. Am. / I move past the nurses, my crutches tick-tocking on the tiles / like the pendulum of an old clock. / Not quite a dance rhythm. / Yet." Subplots exploring other loves and losses (her crush on American doctor Jim; a blossoming romance with fellow dancer Govinda; the death of her beloved grandmother) also help Veda learn about herself, her faith, and her art. And, eventually, after a successful return to dance, Veda again feels whole: "I trace the curves of all ten perfect toes / with my fingertips. / And touch the sacred earth / beneath / both my beautiful feet." katie birche Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 March #1)

Venkatraman (Island's End) again follows the maturation of a passionate and serious young woman, this time in a verse novel set in contemporary Chennai, India. After teenage classical dancer Veda loses part of her right leg, her teacher doesn't believe she can succeed even after Veda is outfitted with a prosthesis. Veda joins a new studio, where her perfectionism and determination clash with her instructors' philosophy of emotional and religious expression. "You dance like a demon," her attractive young tutor tells her, envying Veda's strength while inadvertently highlighting her spiritual shortcomings. Aided by a cast of stock characters—a supportive grandmother, a disapproving but loving mother, and a wise older mentor—Veda sets aside her longing for applause and develops the "three kinds of love.... A healthy love of one's physical self,/ compassion for others,/ and an experience of God." Veda's questions about the nature of God, her growth as an artist while performing a Buddhist tale of grief and acceptance, and her transcendent experiences linked to Shiva, often portrayed as a dancer, lend depth to her spiritual journey. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 April)

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

[Page 154]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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