Tiny Dancer

S. & S./­Atheneum. Oct. 2021. 272p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781481486668.
Gr 9 Up–In this introspective memoir, the author explores the ups and downs of pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Her dance journey begins at a young age in Puerto Rico with her mother and Cuban father. When her parents start to have marital problems, her mother encourages her to apply to the School of American Ballet in New York. Siena quickly becomes infatuated with the city and life as a dancer, and she devotes her energy to realizing her goal of joining the New York City Ballet—until an injury causes her to question her relationship with ballet and whether dance can be a part of her life even without the New York City Ballet. This story portrays the joys and heartaches of dance, from the “royal feeling” of mastering the perfect pose to the struggle of pushing one’s body to the limits. Beautiful descriptions of different dancers and performances offer an inside look at the nuances of ballet and work in tandem with the striking black lined and purple shaded illustrations that capture the movement of the dancers.
VERDICT A notable addition to graphic novel collections for readers who enjoy performance art memoirs.

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