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A Time to Dance (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"I honestly wanted to read this book because of the cover and that it was about dance. I like things about dance. What I discovered is a beautiful novel about Veda, an incredibly gifted dancer who excels at the classical Indian dance form called Bharatanatyam. Veda's dance dreams fall away when she loses her foot in an auto accident. But since she is a dancer to her core, she pushes herself to relearn how to dance. Written in verse, the rhythm of the words beats along with Veda's heart, which is like how Veda feels the music in everything all around her. Spiritual, inspiring, honest, and vivid, this is a great read. Inspired by true story."

— Ellen

"I love this BEAUTIFUL novel about Veda, a gifted dancer, Veda’s dance dreams fall away when she loses her foot in an auto accident. But since she is a dancer to her core, she pushes herself to relearn how to dance. Written in verse, the rhythm of the words beats along with Veda’s heart. Spiritual, inspiring, honest, and vivid, this is a great read that was inspired but a true story. "

— Ellen

"When she dances, Veda’s world vanishes, leaving only music, movement, and story pulsing through her body. She knows dance is her destiny. So when an accident makes her an amputee, her vision of the future and her place in the world crumbles to dust. But as she struggles to re-train her body, she discovers that the power to dance truly comes from within. This is a beautiful and exceptional story of art, strength, and transformation."

— Meghan


Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
Veda, 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 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.

About the Author

Padma Venkatraman (www.padmasbooks.com) is an oceanographer by training and a writer by choice. Her critically acclaimed novels Climbing the Stairs and Island’s End were both ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, Booklist Editor's Choice BBYAs, Amelia Bloomer list selections and CCBC choices, in addition to winning several other honors and awards (such as the South Asia Book Award, Paterson Prize, Julia Ward Howe BAC award, NYPL Book for the Teen Age, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, Booksense Notable, and PW Flying Start). Padma was born in India, but is now an American citizen and lives with her family in Rhode Island.

Praise For…

"Venkatraman has created a rich, exotic, and fully human world that dazzles and delights. Her way with prose reflects Veda's with dancing: 'Nothing else fills me with as much elation as chasing down soaring music' This novel accomplishes exactly that."--Providence Sunday Journal

"[A] powerful depiction of a teen girl struggling to recover from an accident."--The Chicago Tribune

* " Set against a cardamom, melted butter, and semolina sojji-wafted landscape, the novel’s emotional expression and accompanying music impel the reader to share Veda’s belief that “Shiva dances everywhere. In everyone. In everything.”--Booklist, starred review

* " A beautiful integration of art, religion, compassion and connection.”--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “ Told in verse, this story is magnificently strong as Veda’s determination dances off the page and into the reader’s heart.”--VOYA, starred review
* “This exceptional novel, told entirely in verse, captures beautifully the emotions of a girl forced to deal with a number of challenges and how she overcomes them on her way to becoming a confident young woman. It is sure to appeal to readers who are also trying to find their place in the world.”--School Library Journal, starred review — various

Product Details
ISBN: 9780147514400
ISBN-10: 0147514401
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
Pages: 336
Language: English