CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR’S MIDDLE GRADE DEBUT: Padma Venkatraman’s previous three novels have all received numerous awards, honors, and starred reviews. Her middle grade debut is highly anticipated!
EYE-OPENING STORY IN A UNIQUE SETTING: This is a sadly realistic depiction of what life is like for many homeless children in Chennai, a city the author knows well and brings to vivid life.
SENSITIVE PORTRAYAL OF DISABILITY: Although Rukku’s struggles are clear, so are her many strengths—such as her courage, intelligence, loyalty, and loving spirit.
SURVIVAL STORY: Viji—only eleven years old, on her own, and responsible for her sister—must figure out how to get by and whom to trust in an uncaring, dangerous world.
CELEBRATES MORE THAN ONE KIND OF FAMILY: Viji and Rukku’s sisterly bond is unbreakable, and it’s wonderful watching their new friendship with Arul and Muthi bloom and strengthen.
PRAISE FOR A TIME TO DANCE (5 starred reviews!)
* “A spiritually uplifting premise…. Deftly shapes readers’ comprehension of physical ability into a new arc of understanding…. 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 STAR
* “Weaves together several themes so elegantly that they become one…. Veda’s no disabled saint; awkwardness and jealousy receive spot-on portrayals…. A beautiful integration of art, religion, compassion and connection.”—Kirkus STAR
* “The descriptions of contemporary India are beautiful and Venkatraman weaves images so divine that you can see the statues of Shiva, hear the ankle bells in the bharatanatyam dance, and smell the acrid scent of burnt rubber from the accident…. This story is magnificently strong as Veda’s determination dances off the page and into the reader’s heart.”—VOYA STAR
* “Exceptional…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.”—SLJ STAR
* “The sensory elements evocatively describe the sights and sounds of Veda’s rich Indian surroundings. Her existential ponderings…are woven seamlessly into the tale, and her moments of jealousy and rage are presented honestly. Heart-achingly hopeful and beautifully written, this story will remain with readers long after the final line of verse.”—BCCB STAR
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