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To Dance: Special Edition

By Siena Cherson Siegel
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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A beautifully refreshed and expanded special edition of the Sibert Honor–winning graphic memoir about the dreams and realities of becoming a ballerina.

“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. . . . A spacious redesigned layout heightens the emotional effect and nicely echoes the memoir’s closing line: ‘Dancing fills a space in me.’”—The Horn Book

Ballerinas are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six—and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance classes at the School of American Ballet, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet while working with ballet legend George Balanchine.

Part family history, part backstage drama, this beautifully updated graphic memoir—which features a refreshed design and a brand-new scrapbook of Siena’s mementoes—is an original, firsthand look a young dancer’s beginnings.
"The familiar tale of a young dancer's progress
takes on a newly poignant aura by being translated
into the unexpectedly appropriate medium of the graphic novel." 
—Terry Teachout, author of
All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine

"I treasure the marriage of these lovable pictures
with the humble story of becoming a ballerina.
I believe that with this book,
the number of ballet lovers will grow."
Maya Plisetskaya, prima ballerina, Bolshoi Ballet
"To Dance is a beautiful portrait of the magical world of dance,
and an even more beautiful portrait of a young girl growing up.
A must-read for all dreamers who discover themselves. Brava, Siena!"
Peter Boal, artistic director, Pacific Northwest Ballet,
and former principal dancer, New York City Ballet

"The graphic novel format allows the Siegels to fluidly balance
biographical events with onstage action, capturing both
the dancers' movements and their passion."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"...an inspiring message about the dedication required to become a ballerina."
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

The fully realized account goes beyond
the sacrifices and rewards she experienced to other matters,
such as the effects of her parents' separation and divorce
and her awe of ballet master George Balanchine."

Siegel’s artwork brilliantly captures ballet movement,
the luminaries of the time and the daily life of a dancer.
A bravura performance by author and illustrator
that will be read and reread and treasured by ballet lovers of all ages.
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW


 ALA Notable Children's Books
 ALA Robert F. Sibert Award Honor Book
 Garden State Children's Book Award Nominee (NJ)
 Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee (NJ)
 ILA/CBC Children's Choices
 Keystone to Reading Book Award Master List (PA)
 NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
 School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Siena Cherson Siegel is the author of To Dance, the award-winning graphic memoir about her life as a young dancer. She trained at the School of American Ballet and danced children’s parts with the New York City Ballet. Later she joined the education team at American Ballet Theatre and contributed to developing their training programs, including the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis School and the Summer Intensive Programs. She loves to teach and research creative movement. Her most recent book is Tiny Dancer, a graphic memoir for young adults, also with art by her husband Mark. She lives in New York with her family. 
  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 9
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481486637
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
88 pages | $19.99 USD | 6 x 9 inches | 978-1481486637 | October 1, 2019