A Time to Dance

by Padma Venkatraman

Veda has loved to dance for as long as she can remember. She does so in spite of... read more

Veda has loved to dance for as long as she can remember. She does so in spite of her mother, who wants her to be an engineer. But the day she wins a Bharatanatyam dance competition is also the day her life changes. On the bus ride home there’s an accident and Veda awakens in the hospital with her right leg amputated below the knee. As she begins the slow process of relearning how to walk, she dreams of dancing again. When her old teacher rejects her, she finds a new teacher, one who believes in dancing as a way to honor Shiva — as a means of emotional expression and showing the love of the god. It is, Veda understands, part of what drew her to dance as a young child, and something that she’s lost as she began enjoying attention for her talent. In a class with the youngest children she begins to relearn the basic moves under a young man named Govinda, who also feels a connection to the spiritual elements of dance that Veda longs to rediscover. And like Veda in the past, he also faces pressure from his family to do something other than what he loves. A novel in verse about a contemporary Indian teen is swiftly paced and emotionally compelling. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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