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Book - 2017 | First edition
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Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden's powerful graphic memoir captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know. It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again. She was good. She won. And she hated it. For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden's life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she'd outgrown her passion--and she finally needed to find her own voice.
Publisher: New York : First Second, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781626729407
Call Number: ygn 796.912 WALDEN 2017
Characteristics: 395 pages : chiefly illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Walden immerses readers in an adolescence dominated by competitive figure skating. The story stretches over several years, during which time the story moves between embracing the routine of early morning practices and the rush of competition, and a near-constant feeling of otherness, due in large... Read More »

In this memoir in graphic form, Tillie relates the importance of figure skating in her youth.

Grade 6 and up. After years of figure skating lessons, the author of this graphic novel memoir experiences a coming of age as a teen, where she realizes her lesbianism, and that she doesn't really like skating anymore.

Grade 6 and up. After years of figure skating lessons, the author of this graphic novel memoir experiences a coming of age as a teen, where she realizes her lesbianism, and that she doesn't really like skating anymore.

From the critics

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LCPL_Krystyna May 24, 2021

I'm happy that this story is out there and that Tillie shared her story with the world. This is Tillie's coming-of-age story; she embraces who she is and what she wants in life. This includes so many topics, including a lot of heavy ones, that so many teens could relate to. I just personally didn't love it.

Apr 07, 2021

A moody (in the best sense) coming of age story, I enjoyed the subtle art and the authentic voice of this graphic memoir.

Desire Deschenes
Mar 25, 2020

This book has beautiful artwork and a very personal theme. The theme is portrayed and written well into the story and has you crying with Tillie. I really enjoyed and connected with this book and have to disagree with many of the other comments.

I read this whole book in one sitting, as is fitting for most of Tillie Walden's books. Not my favorite, but the artwork is still stunning and you can feel the emotions Walden struggles with growing up.

JCLBrittanyC Nov 01, 2019

Spinning is Tillie Walden’s memoir of her ten years as a competitive figure skater.
The ten years overlap with her years in both middle school and high school, so
major developmental years. The focus of the novel does seem to be on figure
skating, but there is so much more that Tillie experienced during those ten years
that she highlights as well. Through the years Tillie is bullied, feels misplaced,
comes out, and deals with sexual harassment. All of which, she felt connected
back to her personal figure skating experience. I found this biography quite
interesting as it jumped into a world that I have never known about. I think Tillie did
a wonderful job of being very vulnerable throughout the novel, helping you as the
reader feel quite connected to her and her experiences.

Aug 08, 2019

Spinning is an engaging autobiography which tells the life of a young girl coming of age. The book covers a large part of the author's life and provides insight on growing up and coming out. I enjoyed the innocence of the storyteller and the way she was able to connect with the reader. I highly recommend this book to teenagers.

Apr 09, 2019

Tillie Walden is one to watch!

Oct 13, 2018

A little uneven in structure, but this first long-form graphic novel by Walden really got my attention. It's the story of Walden growing up heavily involved in figure skating, even though she mostly hates it, and her experience coming to realize she's a lesbian. The art is so lovely, and Walden is definitely one to watch, having completed this at age 21 - whaaaa? If you're at all interested in young women's lives, queer fiction, coming of age stories, figure skating, or emerging talents in comics, seriously consider giving this a try.

Content warning: sexual assault.

Aug 14, 2018

The catching cover of this graphic novel immediately grasped my attention, and I knew from that moment I would get a good read and out of this book. I loved the graphics, each square was nicely thought out, and everything was visually very pleasing, but the real good part was discription of the sensation on ice. I don't figure skate, but I could literally imagine the feeling of doing spins and jumps on ice, which was pretty cool.

JessicaGma Jun 19, 2018

Great artwork, and interesting theme, but I have to agree with the other commenters in that it's a pretty surface skim of her adolescent years and some of the themes could have been examined more. Mind you, it did make me think of being alone in a cold arena, so it was successful in that sense.

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Add Age Suitability
Jul 29, 2018

sands7447 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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