She has been a ballerina, a teacher, a Cuban and a role model for those with handicaps. Truly a noteworthy life, poignantly...

ALICIA ALONSO

PRIMA BALLERINA

A biography in poems and pictures of the prima ballerina assoluta of Cuba, who thrilled audiences for decades with her extraordinary technique and beautiful interpretations of Giselle and other classics.

Alonso danced flamenco as a child, but because “ballet dancing / tastes better / than chocolate ice cream,” she chose it as her lifelong passion. Loss of peripheral vision early in her career and, years later, near total blindness never deterred her. After wooing audiences in New York City and across America, she returned to Cuba in 1959 when Fidel Castro funded her Ballet National de Cuba and remained steadfastly and controversially loyal to him and his government. America closed its doors to her until a triumphant return to New York in 1975 in Swan Lake. Bernier-Grand writes in short, free-verse vignettes that beautifully capture each step in Alonso’s personal life and career. Particularly touching is the poem "Dancing Fingers," which describes Alonso dancing Giselle with her fingers as she lies in bed with bandaged eyes after surgery. Colón’s signature scratchboard illustrations in warm tones of blue, green and gold capture the colors of Cuba, the ethereal stage settings of Alonso’s greatest triumphs and her elegance and grandeur.

She has been a ballerina, a teacher, a Cuban and a role model for those with handicaps. Truly a noteworthy life, poignantly rendered here. (notes, bibliography) (Picture books/biography. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5562-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

GHOST

From the Track series , Vol. 1

Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw feels like he’s been running ever since his dad pulled that gun on him and his mom—and used it.

His dad’s been in jail three years now, but Ghost still feels the trauma, which is probably at the root of the many “altercations” he gets into at middle school. When he inserts himself into a practice for a local elite track team, the Defenders, he’s fast enough that the hard-as-nails coach decides to put him on the team. Ghost is surprised to find himself caring enough about being on the team that he curbs his behavior to avoid “altercations.” But Ma doesn’t have money to spare on things like fancy running shoes, so Ghost shoplifts a pair that make his feet feel impossibly light—and his conscience correspondingly heavy. Ghost’s narration is candid and colloquial, reminiscent of such original voices as Bud Caldwell and Joey Pigza; his level of self-understanding is both believably childlike and disarming in its perception. He is self-focused enough that secondary characters initially feel one-dimensional, Coach in particular, but as he gets to know them better, so do readers, in a way that unfolds naturally and pleasingly. His three fellow “newbies” on the Defenders await their turns to star in subsequent series outings. Characters are black by default; those few white people in Ghost’s world are described as such.

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Honor Book

  • National Book Award Winner

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more