Cover Image: Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage

Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage

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Member Reviews

When I first starting reading the original Rebel Girls book to my eldest daughter, it was the story of ballet dancer Alicia Alonso which she kept requesting night after night. It's great to see Alicia's incredible story now in a book of its own from the Rebel Girls team. Alicia overcame the odds to be a world class ballet dancer despite losing most of her vision. This book takes us through Alicia's life from growing up and developing a passion for dance in Cuba to her marriage and move to New York and how she worked to continue dancing despite her poor eyesight. The book contains 10 chapters and I read a chapter a night to my daughters aged 7 and 5. They mostly followed the story, though they were a little young to understand  the detail of her eye problems and her operations. At the end of the book there is a lovely few pages of some of the key ballet moves, so my daughters loved copying these illustrations.  A beautiful little book I would recommend for children ages 7 and above.
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I’ve loved the art of dancing since I was little, so reading this story did nothing but inspire me. This is an awesome book for younger people, and I’m sure it will spark something in some of them.
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I would like to thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this ebook.

I never knew who Alicia Alonso was before I read this book. I am very surprised that I haven't come across this strong and fierce woman before. It was truly inspiring. More young girls should read about her!
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A powerful, hope-filled story of passion and perseverance, lovingly designed to encourage creativity and confidence through dance.
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Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is a historical fiction middle-grade chapter book about the life of the famous professional Cuban ballerina, Alicia Alonso. Alicia fell in love with dance since she was a little girl taking her first dancing lessons in Spain. She knew she wanted to become a professional ballerina after trying ballet shoes during a class with Nikolai Yavarosky at the Pro Arte Musical building in Cuba. Alicia was so sure of her dreams that she moved from Cuba to New York City, United States, to pursue a ballet career. Critics praised her by 1939. However, serious eyesight problems threatened her treasured ballet career. How did Alicia Alonso become a world-renowned prima ballerina despite her disabilities?

Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is a wonderful story of resiliency. Alicia loved ballet with her entire being, so she pushed through her eyesight conditions to achieve her dreams and much more. Her grit is inspiring and an excellent example for kids, particularly those interested in a dance career.

Nancy Ohlin's writing is concise and age-appropriate. It is obvious she did historical research to do justice to Alicia Alonso's life. I was glad the chapter book had Spanish because Alicia Alonso was Cuban, and her first language was Spanish. I would only suggest that the next time Ohlin includes Spanish words, phrases, and sentences, she gets an editor accredited in Spanish to review them. 

Unfortunately, the Spanish used in the book has errors. An example is: "Olé, Mama!" It should be: "¡Olé, Mamá!" Monolingual English readers might not notice these errors, but fully bilingual readers like me will take note.

I loved the color pallet the illustrator, Josefina Preumayr, chose for the chapters' illustrations. But, I would have liked the images to reflect more the looks of the real Alicia Alonso.

Overall, Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is a great chapter book for kids, between the ages of 9 and 12, who love ballet and dance. It is also a phenomenal life story that can serve as an inspiration to kids with disabilities, so they remember anything is possible.

Note that Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is book number four in the Rebel Girls, Chapter Book series. The other chapter books in the series are Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code, Madam C.J. Walker Builds a Business, Junko Tabei Masters the Mountains, and Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest. All of these historical fiction chapter books by Rebel Girls are excellent for middle-grade girls. School libraries and libraries would benefit highly from having these on their shelves.
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An inspiring chapter book for girls 7 to 12 and possibly as a read aloud by parents, grandparents and teachers to younger kids who like dance or performance.
Alicia's story is told well. I love the use of Cuban phrases and her love of music described in the beginning chapters. As an adult my interest was kept throughout the chapters. But as a former librarian/teacher, I  thought some of the sentences were a little long winded for younger kids. 

All in all, the mounting obstacles she faced with grit and determination and the wonderful illustrations make for a lovely book that fits with the #Rebel Girls vision for young readers.
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For the first time in my life, I heard of a nearly blinded ballet dancer. But not for the last time I would hear that perseverance and love wins. 

When I read that Alicia came from Cuba, it shocked me. No, wait. That Cuba that had been in a strange relationship with the US? Nevertheless, her story is something incredible, weaved on a dream that become reality. With hard works, long hours, love and perseverance, of course. 

Always a delight and an awe that follows, the series inspires me a lot. .
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As a person who loves dance and learning about strong women, I truly loved this book. Written for a younger audience, it's a beautiful read for anyone wanting to know more about the prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso. 

A great story from the Rebel Girls series and would make a wonderful reference for a book report for anyone who loves the performing arts. 

I mentioned the book on my book picks segment on San Antonio Living: https://news4sanantonio.com/sa-living/books-series-to-put-on-your-list

Great read. Beautiful illustrations. 

*I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
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I was not really familiar with Alicia Alonso before reading this, other than hearing her name. What an amazing, inspiring woman! Seriously, look her up on Youtube and watch her in the Black Swan pas de deux, it's unbelievable. Young dancers will of course find her story inspirational, but those with physical limitations will find her story inspiring as well, as she dealt with severe vision problems and partial blindness for most of her life. She not only overcame this, she became one of the greatest ballerinas of her time, and founded one of the largest ballet schools in the world. 
The text in this book is engaging, and gives the reader a sense of Alonso's excitement with dance, and the illustrations are colorful and vibrant, with much life to them. Another great addition to the Rebel Girls series!

#RebelGirlsSeries #NetGalley
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Thank you for the opportunity to be an early reader. This is a really amazing story, very inspiring & my daughter & I loved it. She is a ballet dancer & we just loved learning about Alicia. This is a book I will be talking about for a long time to come.
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Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Alicia Alonso Takes The Stage was about Alicia's journey in becoming a professional ballerina. Every step of her life was nicely documented in the book. I enjoyed reading it. It was inspiring.
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If you are familiar with and love The Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls series, then you'll love the new chapter books geared for the young readers. These new Rebel Girls chapter books focus on one inspiring female, have over 100 pages and delve deeper than the one-page Goodnight Stories do.

ALICIA ALONSO TAKES THE STAGE, is the 5th book in the chapter book series (Madam C.J Walker Builds a Business, Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code, Junko Tabei Masters the Mountain, and Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest, being the first four). In these books we read about their childhood, what ignited their passion, and the incredible hurdles they had to overcome.

In this particular book, we read all about the ballerina, Alicia Alonso. Born in Cuba in 1920, she naturally takes to dancing from a very early age. Her mother signs her up for ballet lessons and she falls in love with the pink slippers with the silk ribbons.  Ballet becomes her passion and she works hard at it. At the age of 19 she begins to have visual issues which only become worse and, sadly, irreversible. This news is devastating.  But combined with her love for ballet and her tenacity, she keeps going, adapting the stage for her visual impairment, she becomes a graceful and accomplished prima ballerina, and even goes on to form her own ballet company.

ALICIA ALONSO TAKES THE STAGE is perfect for young children who love to dance and have a passion for ballet.

**Don’t forget to check out the end of the book, there are ballet activities to help inspire a young child to become passionate about ballet as it did for the remarkable, Alicia Alonso.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #RebelGirls, it was such a pleasure to read this amazing story.
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I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to read and review this latest additon to the Rebel Girls series, as my daughter (aged 10) is a big fan of the first two books, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales to Dream Big and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2.
Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is the fifth, so far, in a related series of chapter books, aimed at middle-years readers and focussing on a single rebel girl who became a successful female role model in her chosen field.
Alicia Alonso (1920-2019) was a Cuban-born prima ballerina, choreographer, teacher and founder of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Her story is truly inspiring and an excellent choice for the Rebel Girls imprint. This chapter book relates her rise from a keen intuitive dancer as a child, to learning Spanish dancing styles, graduating to classical ballet and ultimately becoming a professional ballerina and international superstar.
Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage focuses not only on Alonso's incredible personal achievements, but also on her unwavering commitment to her goals, her determination in the face of adversity and her desire to "give back" to the world of ballet and developing dancers in Cuba.
The book is written by Nancy Ohlin in a straightforward style, aimed at readers between 8-15 years, and is illustrated colourfully and evocatively by Josefina Preumayr. An activities section at the end of the book encourages readers to explore their own expressiveness, mental multi-tasking skills and motor co-ordination through dance moves and improvisation. Rebel Girls have partnered and collaborated with Smashworks Dance in producing Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage.
I would highly recommend this title to female readers aged 8-15, especially those with an interest in dance and/or performing arts. It is a remarkable story.
Thanks to Rebel Girls, Timbuktu Labs Inc. and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title prior to its publication on 18 August 2020. #RebelGirls Series #NetGalley
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Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
I didn´t expect to feel the way I did with this book. It is a short novel about Alicia Alonso, a Cuban ballerina that followed her dream: dance. This story was like a warm hug to my heart and my own dreams and goals. Personally, it inspired me to keep going on even in this time or any other. The obstacles she had to overcome in her life could have easily excused her of just stopping. No one would have said she was giving up, if your body is not ¨capable¨ of doing something then it is time to look for another path in life right? Well, what I got from her story is a huge ¨not at all¨. She would dance with only her arms and hands when doctors told her to rest and not to move, laugh or cry for a whole year.  And then when they gave her no hope at all about her capability to dance, she found it in her soul and continued against everything and succeeded. I am a 21-year-old girl and this story made feel strong and inspired me. I am totally convinced that to little girls this can be a huge life changer. I totally recommend this chapter book and the other ones of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Chapter Books. I recommend it for adults or teenagers, but also please read this to your little kids, boys or girls and give them the courage to chase their dreams, just like Alicia Alonso did.
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This is my second book from this series by Rebel Girls (the first one was my Book 11!), and their biographies never fail to leave me in awe. It tells the story of Alicia Alonso, a partially blind Cuban ballerina who didn't let her disability or her parents' hesitance get in the way of her dreams. The language is simple and engaging, the art as always beautiful. To be honest, I think I'm falling in love with this book series bec it keeps introducing me to new - at least to me - female game changers and role models ♀️ thanks, NetGalley, for often approving my requests for ARCs!
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Never give up - this statement is so true to Alicia Alonso. When the world's against you, even when your body gives up, your soul doesn't give up on the one true love. That true love was the dance to Alicia. She loved to dance, and dance loved her back to become a world-famous ballet dancer.
Alicia Alonso's life is for all who dream and work hard for that dream. No matter the obstacles, you win with your hope.
Thank you, Rebel Girls, for this astonishing book.
Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage, is a quick, easy read filled with beautiful illustrations. It also contains fun, engaging extra content and activities. I loved reading it so much and will always cherish it in my heart.
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Another inspiring bio by Rebel Girls, this one for middle grade readers on visually impaired Cuban ballet dancer Alicia Alonso. The story empowers girls of differing abilities to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles, just as Alicia did in real life. 

Rebel Girls’ books always engender hope and the illustrations by female artists are always gorgeous. Highly recommended!

5 of 5 Stars 

Pub Date 18 Aug 2020

Thanks to Rebel Girls and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

#RebelGirlsSeries #NetGalley
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This is another great entry to the Rebel Girls series of chapter books. Alicia Alonso is an inspiring dancer that persevered in the face of many challenges. Her story is told in an accessible way and with fun illustrations. As always, thank you, Rebel Girls!
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An uplifting historical children's introduction to the famous Cuban ballet dancer, Alicia Alonso, with beautiful illustrations to accompany the story of her life.
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This is a great book, and great series, about the determination that Alicia Alonso had in becoming a well-known ballerina. Born in 1920 in Cuba, ballet was not the cultural norm, but Alicia knew from a young age that she wanted to be a ballerina. Her first big role was as Giselle and the descriptions of the ballet are truly wonderful. Her family figured it was a passing phase, but ballet was her life. That was something that was not accepted by most, especially not her family. But Alicia followed her heart and stayed with ballet.

Even more than her family not supporting her at first, when Alicia was 19 she found that she had a detached retina and was going blind. That still didn't stop her from dancing. She had to find ways to make it work and was loved enough by her fellow dancers that they helped make it possible.

Rebel Girl stories are really great tools to let kids know of women who wouldn't back down from a challenge and lived their own perfect lives. They are written just right for the 8-12 crowd that they are intended for.
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