Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Last Dance by Carmen Agra Deedy

by Carmen Agra Deedy
ISBN: 978-1-56145-109-8
32 pages, $13.22 (Amazon)

Bessie and Ninny are the best of friends. Sometimes on milk-moon nights, Ninny throws buttons at Bessie's window. When Bessie peeps outside, Ninny sings:

"Bessie, oh Bessie! Come dance with me! For I hate to dance alone..."

My Thoughts:
The Last Dance is about life, love and death and the relationship between two children who grow old together. Bessie and Ninny are best friends and they learn from Ninny's grandfather that life is a dance when they visit Ninny's grandmother in the graveyard. They make a promise to each other after Ninny's grandfather dies that they will dance on the other's grave and never forget each other.

As the years go by Bessie and Ninny marry, have a child, Ninny goes off to war where the country even needs tailors. Bessie remains home and waits for him to come home not knowing if he will.

Ninny, oh Ninny!
Come dance with me!
For I'd hate to dance alone...

This is the story of life, love and death ~ and a great book to read to children (age 6+) who have lost someone they love.  There is a LOT of text so it's not one for beginning readers to read on their own ~ but if they have the attention span and you have the patience to answer questions it's a good way to let children know that life goes on and so does love.

Carmen Agra Deedy is a New York Times bestselling author and has been writing and traveling around the world telling stories for more than twenty years. Her books, including 14 Cows for America, The Library Dragon, The Yellow Star, and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach have received numerous awards and honors. Carmen has performed in many prestigious venues, but children are her favorite audience. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States as a refugee and like most immigrants sees the world from multiple perspectives. You can visit Carmen Agra Deedy’s website here.

 Watch for the following book reviews coming up in the next month:

Click to enter giveaway

PeachtreePublishers generously offered a copy of The Last Dance for review & giveaway. No $ exchanged hands and I was not required to write a positive review. Just click on the mousehole above to enter the giveaway.


  1. sounds like a great way to start a conversation about loss! I am going to add this to my book list.

  2. that made me cry, that would be a sad book to have to read a child, but if necessary, it's good to know a book like this is out there

  3. Tina, this sounds really good. Have you read it? I bet it is a tear jerker!

  4. I think it'll be even good for my 4-year-old. Excellent life-learning experiences. Thank you for this review.

  5. Debi - I have read it. It's actually not a tear jerker at all but a celebration of life & love. That sounds corny - but that's how I would describe it. =D

    Celebrate Woman - my only concern for the younger children is that there is a lot of text. If you have a little one that listens well - they would love the book. =D

  6. We lost a family member last year and this would have been a great book to have to share with my older grand-children. We were all so heartbroken and they were so confused, I talked to them about death more later in the year, when I felt I could talk about it. I still think this book would be something I'd consider purchasing for them.

  7. We have not dealt with death in our family for our 3 young boys yet (they are 5 years old) but they do have grandparents who are quite up there in age. This book is really perfect to read when we have to deal with the passing of the loved one. Thanks for sharing this book with us.
    Maureen :)