Spinning

By: Tillie Walden

It was the same every morning: wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark.

ISBN: 9781626727724

JLG Release: Jan 2018


Sensitive Areas: Strong language, Discrimination, Mild sexual themes, Alcohol, Smoking, Homophobia, Attempted rape

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Awards & Honors

2018 Eisner Award Winner, Best Reality-Based Work
YALSA 2018 Best Graphic Novels for Teens
CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: Biography and Autobiography
ILA Young Adults' Choices - 2018
New York Public Library Best Books for Teens 2017
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017, Young Adult
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017, Teen Graphic Novels and Manga
Booklist Top of the List Editor’s Choice, Nonfiction Older Readers
Los Angeles Public Library Best of 2017: Teen Books

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), Booklist*

School Library Journal

A graphic memoir about competitive ice skating, growing up, and coming out. Walden spent much of her youth on the ice, at practices and competitions, and in locker rooms among friends, frenemies, and competitors. In this deeply personal reflection, the author/illustrator is unflinching in her examination of what drove her passion for the sport, the A graphic memoir about competitive ice skating, growing up, and coming out. Walden spent much of her youth on the ice, at practices and competitions, and in locker rooms among friends, frenemies, and competitors. In this deeply personal reflection, the author/illustrator is unflinching in her examination of what drove her passion for the sport, the embarrassments and experiences that marked pivotal moments in her development, and how she eventually came out to family and friends as a young teen. The art is economical, with a simple indigo and white palette with very occasional splashes of yellow, lending the book an appropriately cold tone; readers will shiver with empathy as Walden steps onto the rink in the early morning before the sun rises. While her drive and commitment to being the best athlete is evident (at one point, she describes sleeping in her practice clothes on top of her blankets, not allowing herself to get warm so that the early morning transition would be easier), the details about some of her relationships are held at arm’s length and only hinted at, most notably the strained relationship with her mother. A scene in which a male tutor sexually harasses Walden and attempts a physical assault is affecting and may spark deeper discussion. Her first romantic relationship is both tender and heartbreaking. VERDICT An honest and intimate coming-of-age story that will be appreciated by tweens and young teens, especially those in competitive sports.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Horn Book

In a graphic memoir, former competitive figure skater and synchronized skater Walden looks back at her twelve years growing up in the world of competitive sports. The shadowy, cool bluish-purples of most of the pencil drawings reflect young Tillie’s mood for much of the narrative: although she’s committed to her skating, it rarely bring In a graphic memoir, former competitive figure skater and synchronized skater Walden looks back at her twelve years growing up in the world of competitive sports. The shadowy, cool bluish-purples of most of the pencil drawings reflect young Tillie’s mood for much of the narrative: although she’s committed to her skating, it rarely brings her joy. Meanwhile, she’s being bullied; her family relationships are strained; she feels the need to hide her homosexuality; she struggles academically; and she is sexually assaulted by her SAT tutor. The skating world serves mainly as a well-realized backdrop for a story about holding secrets in and going against expectations. Walden, whose growing interest in art is a recurring theme throughout her memoir, knows when to let this book’s art or text be spare and when to interrupt the purple sleepiness with a pop of golden yellow; the occasional incompletely drawn figures are clearly deliberate, whether to protect her own memory or someone else’s anonymity. She sometimes only hints at her motivations, giving the impression that, like many adolescents, she’s not fully sure what they are. The result is much more layered than the “tell-all about the seedy world of glittering young ice skaters” that, according to the author’s note, Walden (now only a few years removed from the events) originally intended to create. shoshana flax

Book Details

ISBN

9781626727724

First Release

January 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

920.0086/6 B

Trim Size

Page Count

400

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.1; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.4; Points: 5;

Lexile

Level GN410L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

First Second

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Strong language, Discrimination, Mild sexual themes, Alcohol, Smoking, Homophobia, Attempted rape

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