My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome

Robert Battle

Illustrator: James E. Ransome

As a child, Robert Battle wore braces to straighten his legs, and he didn’t start ballet until age thirteen. But neither challenge stopped him from becoming a professional dancer and an artistic director. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Bibliography. Suggestions for further reading. Full-color pastel illustrations.

ISBN: 9781481422215

JLG Release: Jan 2016


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Robert Battle (1971- ) , Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater , U ,S , choreographers , U ,S , dancers , Biography

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Awards & Honors

2016 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Middle Readers
2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
2016 CCBC Choices–The Arts
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Biography and Memoir

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Guide, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

The latest collaboration from this talented husband-and-wife team spotlights the childhood and career trajectory of the current artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. When Battle was “‘no bigger than a loaf of bread,’” he was adopted and raised by his loving aunt and uncle and their adult daughter. Surr The latest collaboration from this talented husband-and-wife team spotlights the childhood and career trajectory of the current artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. When Battle was “‘no bigger than a loaf of bread,’” he was adopted and raised by his loving aunt and uncle and their adult daughter. Surrounded by spirituals at home and church, the boy was initially prevented from moving to the music due to painful, metal braces worn to straighten his legs. When the braces were removed, he gained strength and confidence through martial arts and then ballet and other styles. Cline-Ransome charts the young man’s progress from an arts high school in Miami to Juilliard. Her narrative conveys salient details, such as the names of teachers, dance companies, and pieces, as well as Battle’s emotional highs and lows. Evoking the master of the dance painting, Edgar Degas, Ransome’s deft use of acrylic strokes makes readers aware of key moments in Ailey’s signature piece, Revelations. Interspersed among full-color scenes of Easter bonnets and the Miami neighborhood are spreads depicting energetic studies of the dancer in motion, first as a child and later as a muscular, toned adult. This informative yet concise package includes a foreword by Battle (accompanied by photographs) and author and illustrator notes. VERDICT This story of the man who went on to assume the mantle of dance leadership will motivate aspiring dancers or choreographers and will be particularly meaningful to boys of color.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

Book Details

ISBN

9781481422215

First Release

January 2016

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

9" x 11"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 9.5; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 970L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Paula Wiseman

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Robert Battle (1971- ), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, U,S, choreographers, U,S, dancers, Biography,

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