Mock Printz booktalk: Spinning by Tillie Walden

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Lisa Elliott of Tigard Public Library.

Every morning for twelve years, Tillie rises before dawn to head to skating practice. The hardest part is acclimating to the cold as she moves from her warm car onto the ice. She eventually begins sleeping on top of her blankets in her practice clothes so she can spend a few precious minutes resting rather than dressing, starting out the morning cold to lessen the brutality of the transition to the rink.

Tillie is a competitive figure skater, and though she is a dedicated athlete, she hasn’t found joy in her sport in a long time. But she does love art, and cello practice, and her girlfriend. Pops of color punctuate the muted tones of her life growing up in New Jersey, then Texas. Her life is a confusion of absent parents, sketch books, mean girls, trophies, creepy men, and coming out. In all this chaos, skating might not be what she wants to do, but it does keep her focused until the day art takes over.