Paperback - 2017
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For ten years, figure skating was cartoonist and illustrator 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. Told in graphic novel format.
Publisher: New York : First Second, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781626727724
Characteristics: 395 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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From Library Staff

List - Graphic Novel Memoirs
amykduffy Oct 09, 2018

Ages 13-17

In her debut graphic memoir, Walden describes her teenage struggle to decide whether or not to continue her ten year pursuit of figure skating. As she falls in love with her first girlfriend and takes more interest in her art classes, the conservative world of skating starts to lose its appeal.

In her debut graphic memoir, Walden describes her teenage struggle to decide whether or not to continue her ten year pursuit of figure skating. As she falls in love with her first girlfriend and takes more interest in her art classes, the conservative world of skating starts to lose its appeal.

From the critics

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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.

TechLibrarian Apr 14, 2018

I picked this up because it had been a while since I read a graphic novel, and I was curious as to what secrets it held--I figured it wouldn't just be about figure skating! Like lots of graphic novels, the format belies a serious storyline: Tillie is a teen coping with some really difficult issues, and having to make some big decisions. It's a quick read and the illustrations carry a lot of momentum. Anyone who participated in sports as a teen may be able to relate to this book, and I'd definitely recommend it to others who like to read graphic novels.

LiztheLibrarian Mar 27, 2018

I think the author is very talented for someone so young and I will definitely keep reading her work. This book was great, I enjoyed it, however like many of the other three star reviews, I was left wanting much more. All these really momentous and sometimes awful things that occurred were presented more as a timeline of events with little exploration beyond the surface of the event happening. Walden is courageous to share these details of her life with us, I just wanted more. Also the author portrays her mother as essentially absent parent and when she does interact with her mother her mother is cruel and cold. Then in the acknowledgements she thanks her mother?! I'm not saying that reconciliation etc can't happen, but her mother is never given any redemption in the gn, but now they are okay? I have soooo many questions!!

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Jul 29, 2018

sands7447 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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