by Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel
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Review copy provided by the author.
Content: It’s pretty basic, text-wise, even if the print is small. It is in the middle grade graphic novel section of the bookstore.
This is Siena’s story of how she went from a child in Puerto Rico to being a ballerina a the School of American Ballet in New York. While she never really worked with Balanchine and Baryshnikov and Suzanne Farrell, she saw them and watched them dance from the wings. She worked incredibly hard, devoting her life to ballet, but eventually had to give it up because of an ankle injury at age 18. (Which is tragic, if you think about it.) It’s a really fascinating look into what it takes to be a prima ballerina. (Stick around for the back matter: it was full of pictures and clippings from Siena’s childhood.)
I really liked Mark’s art as well. It’s different from the 5 Worlds series, but he really did capture both the work and the grace and elegance in ballet. They didn’t brush over the pain; there were depictions of aches and pains and bloody toes. It made me remember a time in my life when I adored ballet and wished I could be a ballerina (but was never willing to put in the work).
I’m glad I read this.