Tag Archives: dream

Swan, The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova













Swan, The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Chronicle Books,  2015

This poetically written story dances across the page to provide a glimpse into the early life of Anna Pavlova.  A young Russian girl born into a poor family, Anna is taken to a ballet performance. From that night on, she wanted to be a ballerina; she could not stop her body from moving.  She was not made to be a ballerina, her body was thin and frail, with a weak back and severely arched feet.  As a child, she danced continually, she could not stop.  Dancing became her only dream.  Eventually she was accepted into the Imperial Ballet School.   She was a natural ballerina.  When she steps onto the stage in her performance of The Dying Swan, it’s like she sprouts white wings and becomes a swan in a breath-taking performance.  The book contains an author’s note that includes additional biographical information.  The story and notes are a joy to read; inspiring for any young dancer.

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Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Tanya Lee Stone
Candlewick, 2009

Always attracted to books about successful women, I discovered a rich telling of 13 women with very different stories who fought to do what was natural to them, fly.  While these 13 women were unable—in the late 50’s/early 60’s—to break the barriers against women and were unable to join NASA’s space program, they were able to lay strategic groundwork that later allowed other women into NASA’s program.

We meet Jerrie Cobb, the woman who challenged the male-dominated space program, secretly taking the same tests the men took to get into the program.  She passed them, far surpassing the men.  But the world wasn’t ready for women as equals yet.

A compelling slice in time, the author weaves 13 stories in with stories of key supporters as well as key non-supporters. She helps readers understand the era, and includes insights learned from some of the original 13 women.  Using dozens of photos we see the women who logged thousands of flight hours, in a time when they endured blatant discrimination for even that.  An inspiring book, especially for young people aspiring to fly.  Adults will enjoy, too.

Almost Astronauts won both the Seibert Information Books Medal and the Amelia Bloomer Award.

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