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Ready to Fly
written by
Alexandria LaFaye
and Lea Lyon
illustrated by
Jessica Gibson

$18.99 hardcover


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Ready to Fly:
How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina

An inspiring picture book for little ballerinas everywhere!

Ready to Fly is the true story of Sylvia Townsend, an African American girl who falls in love with ballet after seeing Swan Lake on TV.

Although there aren’t many ballet schools that will accept a girl like Sylvia in the 1950s, her local bookmobile provides another possibility. A librarian helps Sylvia find a book about ballet and the determined seven-year-old, with the help of her new books, starts teaching herself the basics of classical ballet.

Soon Sylvia learns how to fly—how to dance—and how to dare to dream.
Lyrical, easy-to-read, and affecting text paired with bright, appealing illustrations make Ready to Fly perfect for aspiring ballerinas everywhere who are ready to leap and to spread their wings.

Includes a foreword from Sylvia Townsend, a brief history of the bookmobile, an author’s note, and a further reading list.

Honors and Recognition

Kids Indie Next List, Winter 2019-2020


“Lyon and LaFaye have co-authored a standout text that centers action in this triumphant story.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Rhythmic prose, with active verbs like jive, sway, soar, and float, convey movement and draw readers into Townsend’s purposeful but joyful practice sessions.” — School Library Journal

Ready to Fly is sooo sweet, sooo wonderful and sooo inspirational. This story will no doubt show little ones everywhere that you can find a dream in the library.” Floyd Cooper, Coretta Scott King Award–winning author-illustrator


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