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by Padma Venkatraman


School Library Journal:

/* Starred Review */ Gr 6 Up — Despite the pressure from her parents to become an engineer, Veda dreams of being a dancer. She studies the classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam, and has reached the competition finals. Impressed with her graceful lines and skill, the judges award her first place, and Veda is ecstatic. After posing for pictures, she is injured in an accident on the way home and her leg has to be amputated below the right knee. Devastated, she lies in her hospital bed devoid of hope until one day her doctor introduces her to a specialist from America. He sparks optimism in her because he understands that she needs to dance. Eventually Veda receives a prosthetic limb that allows her to walk and dance once again. She finds a new teacher for whom dance is more than a technical performance; it is an art form. Veda is placed with a student teacher, Govinda, who not only supports her as she relearns and strengthens her dancing but also becomes her friend. 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.—Laura Fields Eason, Henry F. Moss Middle School, Bowling Green, KY –Laura Fields Eason (Reviewed April 1, 2014) (School Library Journal, vol 60, issue 4, p154)


  • ALA Notable Children’s Books – Older Readers Category: 2015
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Older Readers Category: 2014
  • Notable Books for a Global Society: 2015
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults: 2015


10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Adult, Friendship, Loss, Teen