To Dance

A Ballerina's Graphic Novel

Illustrated by Mark Siegel
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About The Book

The Sibert Honor–winning graphic memoir about the dreams and realities of becoming a ballerina.

Ballerinas are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six—and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance classes at the School of American Ballet, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet while working with ballet legend George Balanchine.

Part family history, part backstage drama, this beautifully updated graphic memoir—which features a refreshed design and a brand-new scrapbook of Siena’s mementoes—is an original, firsthand look a young dancer’s beginnings.

About The Author

Siena Siegel is an author and former dancer who trained at the School of American Ballet. To Dance is her story.

About The Illustrator

Photo Credit:

Mark Siegel is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books and graphic novels, including To DanceMoving House, and Sailor Twain. His latest project is the collaborative graphic novel series 5 Worlds, an epic science fiction story for young readers. In addition to writing and illustrating, Mark is also the founder, and creative and editorial director of First Second Books, Macmillan’s graphic novel house. The Siegels live in Tarrytown, New York. Visit Mark at MarkSiegelBooks.com.

Raves and Reviews

"The familiar tale of a young dancer's progress takes on a newly poignant aura by being translated into the unexpectedly appropriate medium of the graphic novel."

-- Terry Teachout, author of All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine

"I treasure the marriage of these lovable pictures with the humble story of becoming a ballerina. I believe that with this book, the number of ballet lovers will grow."

-- Maya Plisetskaya, prima ballerina, Bolshoi Ballet

"To Dance is a beautiful portrait of the magical world of dance, and an even more beautiful portrait of a young girl growing up. A must-read for all dreamers who discover themselves. Brava, Siena!"

-- Peter Boal, artistic director, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and former principal dancer, New York City Ballet

Awards and Honors

  • School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
  • ILA/CBC Children's Choices
  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • Garden State Children's Book Award Nominee (NJ)
  • Keystone to Reading Book Award Master List (PA)
  • ALA Robert F. Sibert Award Honor Book
  • Utah Beehive Award Master List
  • Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee (NJ)
  • NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

More books from this illustrator: Mark Siegel