I’ve had the pleasure of reading several books by Tricia D. Wagner, and Little Girl Can Dance is the latest of her releases. While the overall story and delivery are different from the others I have read, Wagner’s lyrical style and descriptions shine through, giving readers much to consider as the story continues. Though this book is relatively short, it focuses on a profound concept that will resonate with readers and leave them wanting more. If you have ever felt confined by rules that limited your self expression, you will find a kindred spirit in Andromeda. Please see my full review below!
For a girl like Andromeda, who has no parents and very little otherwise, life can be challenging. Luckily, she has a steadfast creature companion named Blunder and her best friend Spike to help fill in the missing pieces. But when Andromeda is sent away to boarding school, she finds herself even more alone than she has ever been before. Unwilling to bend to the social expectations of the other students, Andromeda is viewed as an outcast, courageously demonstrating her individuality even in the face of crushing oppression.
Written in the third person, this story reads much like a play with extensive descriptions of both scenery and behavior throughout the novel. The general premise of the narrative is wrapped in magic realism, but very little is explicitly explained. Instead, readers have the freedom to imagine the world as Andromeda experiences it: normal, despite its differences from reality. Vivid descriptions keep readers focused on the story and occasionally elicit notable reactions from readers because of the events that take place, adding depth to the otherwise brief narrative.
Throughout the book, there is an overarching examination of what it is to belong to a family and to a community. In both of Andromeda’s situations, she is something of an outcast, never truly fitting in where she lands. Despite this, she discovers her true passions and what makes her feel alive, and she uses that knowledge to maintain her sense of self even in the most challenging situations. Andromeda goes through a great deal of inward reflection throughout this story, which provides reasons and explanations for the actions she decides to pursue.
The physical imprint of this book is smaller than many stories of its type, but its delivery is nonetheless significant. Through careful word choice and design, Tricia D. Wagner paints a compelling picture about a young girl who must rely primarily on herself to keep her place in the world. Blending magical realism with difficult human situations, this book gives readers a thought-provoking perspective on what it is to belong. This is a story that will resonate with both young adult and adult readers alike.
Don't miss another blog! Sign up for my monthly newsletter to get book recommendations for kids, tweens, and teens delivered straight to your inbox.