Spinning

by Tillie Walden

In this quiet graphic-novel memoir, 11-year-old Tillie must adjust to new coaches,... read more

In this quiet graphic-novel memoir, 11-year-old Tillie must adjust to new coaches, teammates, and routines when her family moves from New Jersey to Austin, Texas. A competitive solo and synchronized figure skater, Tillie practices at the crack of dawn and endures grueling, day-long competitions on the weekends. While skating is the unifying activity throughout, this is a memoir about Tillie grappling for control in multiple aspects of her life. When Tillie begins a romantic relationship with another girl and Tillie’s mother finds out, Tillie decides to selectively come out to friends, family members, and mentors. Although she has friends at her new school, she must endure the persistent bullying of a classmate. Most of all, Tillie realizes that although she likes winning, she does not enjoy skating. Finding the courage to quit the sport into which she has invested years of time and energy and to pursue a different passion—art—is hard: It means bringing the momentum of her life to a halt and beginning a new path. Walden’s narrative skillfully unfolds at a comfortable pace, and her uncomplicated, monochromatic illustrations complement the emotional heft of the story. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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