Review: Born to Dance by Jordan Matter

I was beyond ecstatic to receive this follow-up collection to Dancers Among Us by the talented photographer and YouTube star Jordan Matter, featuring gorgeous color photographs of well-known dancers as well as stars-in-the-making, ages 2 through 18.

First and foremost, I have to highlight the theme of the book, centering around “a celebration of what it means to be young and full of possibility and to live life joyfully.” It was all captured so beautifully through the many selected titles, including: “play with me,” “when I grow up,” “oops,” “do they like me?” and more.

Born to Dance is all about the visuals so I won’t hold off any longer and include my many favorite shots:Born to Dance 1-- bookspoils… Even the water is in synch with her movement.

Born to Dance 2-- bookspoilsHow is it that she actually appears to be sinking into the road?

Born to Dance 5-- bookspoils

Born to Dance 6-- bookspoilsMaria
Age 14,

New York, NYBorn to Dance 7-- bookspoilsSoleil Age 9, Steamboat Springs, CO
Born to Dance 8-- bookspoilsAimee, Celle, Sarah, Kendall, Sydney, Peyton, Sophie, Shelby
Ages 12 to 14, The Woodlands, TXScreen Shot 2018-02-28 at 09.46.55

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: October 02, 2018


Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Born to Dancejust click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Roller Derby, Girl-Power, and Friendship

I was pumped to read this middle-grade graphic novel all about recognizing female empowerment within the roller derby community, especially after having read and loved Pamela Ribon’s SLAM! Vol. 1, which is a YA comic bundle set around the same premise.Roller Girl 1-- bookspoils

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

Roller Girl tackles a lot of important issues within the story arc, such as the giddy start of a new blossoming friendship, growing apart from childhood friends, standing up for yourself and those in need, the power of positive role models, and channeling your inner TOUGHER, STRONGER, FEARLESS-self.

Plus, I know I really enjoyed a middle-grade book when I can’t wait to share it with my little sister. She adored Raina Telgemeier‘s work in the past and has been on the search for anything and everything similar, so she’ll be pleased to know that Roller Girl reads like the perfect follow-up book.

I do have to note that, personally, the story hit a bit of rut when it focused too heavily on supplying all the technical terms in roller derby, but thankfully it more than made up for that with its following character-defining moments.

So without further ado, here are some of my personal favorite bits from Roller Girl:

Roller Girl 2-- bookspoilsThat resilient moment of overcoming adversity is an ever-shining star.

Roller Girl 3-- bookspoilsI was all smiles reading the many descriptions and was even pleasantly surprised to see my name, Natalie, included… until I read her silly defining characteristic.

Another comical moment happens in the following hair coloring scene:Roller Girl 4-- bookspoilsThis brought to mind how Louis C.K. has a whole standup bit just around kids names.
Roller Girl 5-- bookspoils“3-4 weeks” got me good.

Roller Girl 6-- bookspoilsGentle parenting and patience is key.

Unrelated: I find it funny that this is the second book I’ve read that featured both my name as well as my sister’s (Rachel).


Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Roller Girljust click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!