31 July 2008

30. A Time for Dancing

A Time for Dancing, by Davida Wills Hurwin, was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and I couldn’t agree more with the ALA decision. Ballet is center stage for high school friends Julie and Samantha. They met in ballet class and have been best friends ever since. Until everything changes – changes due to cancer.

The book is written with a style that complements the content – every other chapter is told from the perspective of one of the two friends. In the beginning, it seems to be the “normal” high school story – who likes who? Who broke up with whom? What is going on this weekend? However, very quickly Jules finds out that she has an aggressive cancer. And even though she and Sam have leaned on each other for years, Jules finds that this is something she must fight alone. The chemo has devastating effects – tired, nauseous, no hair, etc. She seeks an alternate treatment, which caused me a little bit of concern at first, but the author made sure that this was only a temporary pause in approved treatment. I am a two time cancer survivor and do not regret one day of chemo – of course, I realize that my situation was much different. And of course, as the author points out, dealing with cancer is very personal and solitary.

The book touches on religion and spirituality and has many moving scenes between the girls as well as between the individual girls and their families. This would be a good book to use with high schoolers for a discussion of a number of topics. There is also a film version of the book – view information here!

TITLE: A Time for Dancing
AUTHOR: Davida Wills Hurwin
PAGES: 257
TYPE: fiction, young adult
RECOMMEND: In the end, I really liked this book.

No comments: