Title: Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina
Contributors: Lea Lyon and Jessica Gibson
Age Range: 4-8
Ready to Fly is an inspiring picture book about the life of African American dancer Sylvia Townsend, who taught herself how to dance ballet by reading books she borrowed from a bookmobile as a young girl.
“I learned from an early age that if I wanted to pursue my dreams, I would have to work for it.”
Ready to Fly is a true story about Sylvia Townsend, an African American girl who falls in love with ballet after seeing Swan Lake on her family’s secondhand television set. But opportunities to learn ballet are limited, and Sylvia can’t find a school that will teach her. That’s when the local bookmobile provides another possibility. A librarian helps Sylvia find books about ballet, and the determined seven-year-old, with the help of her new books, starts teaching herself the basics of classical ballet. Each week, the bookmobile returns, and the librarian makes sure to have new ballet books for Sylvia.
Soon, Sylvia learns how to fly—how to dance—and how to dare to dream.
Includes a foreword from Sylvia, a brief history of the bookmobile, an author’s note, and a further reading list.