A Time to Dance and a Book Giveaway

I reviewed A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman, when it was first released in 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books.  It is a beautiful story written in free verse.  The author has sent me an autographed paperback copy (2015) to give away to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment below indicate your interest, follow my website, and be a resident of the US or Canada. I will announce the winner on September 13.  I have included part of my earlier review of this remarkable gem. The hardback copy is a permanent resident on my bookshelf.

Suitable for ages: 12 and up

Awards: ALA Notable Book, Booklist Editor’s Choice, Kirkus, other national and international awards

Themes: Dance, India, Amputee, Disabilities, Abilities, Loss, Courage, Recovery

Book Jacket SynopsisVeda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance–so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown up used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling.

But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

Why I like this book: This inspirational and courageous novel is lyrical with each word carefully chosen.  Verse is the perfect medium. Padma Venkatraman weaves together a story about loss and resilience of a girl determined to dance once again her beloved Indian Bharatanatyam. This is not a story about disability, but one of ability. It is about finding the deeper spiritual meaning of the dance over the applause. “For my invisible audience of the One I begin to dance./ Colors blur into whiteness and a lilting tune that is and is not of the world resonates within and without me./ My body feels whole./In the beat of my heart I hear again the eternal rhythm of Shiva’s feet.”

Reading Venkatraman’s novel is an experience of India in all its beauty, cultural traditions, senses and sounds. If you listen closely you can hear the faint echo of a dancing rhythm. Thaiya thai. Thaiya thai.  I highly recommend this beautiful novel for tweens and teens who have faced challenges in their lives.  This book is a treasure!

Padma Venkatraman is a chief scientist and oceanographer by training and a writer by choice. She is the author of Climbing the Stairs and Island’s End, both multi-award winners.  Padma was born in India, but is now an American citizen. Visit Padma at her website. It has discussion questions and teaching resources.

Check other Middle Grade review links on author Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

48 thoughts on “A Time to Dance and a Book Giveaway

  1. Patricia,
    I would love to share this book with my step granddaughter who has a very sensitive sprint and is a budding dancer! Will also definitely be sharing this title with friends who have young dancers in their families.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This sounds like such an inspiring story! I think it’s so important for children to read these stories of resilience and how it’s possible to get past obstacles. I will have to look for this one.


    • It is a book that touched me in many ways. Veda is such a resilient character who will inspire many. I love learned about her culture. We adopted a son from India many years ago, so I am drawn to stories about Indian culture.


  3. This sounds like such a wonderful and inspiring story! Always looking for strong women characters, new cultures, and to learn something when I read. Thanks for introducing this book – can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is inspired by a perform and dance teacher Padma knew who had a physical injury. I love all three of her novels because they deal with her culture. “Climbing the Stairs,” is based on Padma’s mother’s early life.


  4. The cover is stunning! I have many friends from India and love learning more about their culture as well as others. I enjoy “seeing” the world as I read. This book sounds inspirational and I love that you mentioned the lyrical writing.


  5. Oh my gosh this book sounds almost as beautiful as your review! I love how your blog shares such diverse books, it’s really inspirational. Thanks for sharing your review!


  6. I absolutely loved this book! Padma was on the faculty at the Highlights Novel in Verse workshops I attended this year and last year. She’s a gem of a human being. So happy that you loved this lyrical novel too. Please don’t include me in your giveaway, since I already have both the hardcover and the paperback.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Especially as I took classical Indian dancing lessons in Trinidad as a child, this book sounds like it would be a wonderfully nostalgic read! ❤


  8. I missed this first time around, but oh my, it sounds spiritual and wonderful. I am sure it will remind me of my many times working in India.


  9. “This story is not about disability, but about ability.” Perfect sentence about living with inspiration and strength and a belief in yourself so strong that you can withstand pain and impermanence and disappointments. This sounds like an incredible book.


  10. I would love to share this book with my son to encourage him. He was affected by Amniotic Band Syndrome in the womb which left him without a left hand/forearm.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a lesson. If only more people knew about the healing power of patience and perseverance and that starting again is always a carefully thought-out, one painstaking first step followed by another. Before we know it we are dancing again…or singing again, maybe not as before, but differently, often with more sensitivity and emotional content than before. x x x


    • Veda is a beautiful example of patience, perseverance and healing. Sometimes you have to have experience a challenge in order to realize the power of patience and perseverance. I think we’ve both had challenges and learned to take one step at a time towards healing and reinventing ourselves in new ways. xoxo


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