Written & Illustrated by: Tillie Walden
For ages: Young Adults and up
Topics Covered: Sports, LGBT Youth, Growing Up, Women in Sports, Figure Skating, Family, Love. Content Warning: Assault.
Summary: This book is a graphic memoir of the 12 years Tillie spent as a competitive figure skater. Tillie’s parents are rather uninvolved in her skating, and she is often at practice alone in the early hours of the morning and alone at competitions on the weekends. This graphic novel is special in that it focuses on the mundane happenings in Tillie’s life, showing Tillie as mostly unhappy and searching for something better. The novel shows Tillie falling in love with a classmate, spending many happy moments together until her girlfriend’s mother finds out about them together and forbids any contact between them. Several years pass, and Tillie’s SAT tutor assaults her on their last study session. Spinning is a book that can be consumed in one sitting, despite being almost 400 pages long. Poignant and quiet, Tillie is an interesting protagonist. Highly recommend this coming of age tale, especially to any young girl that may feel uninspired by their life and feel like they’re the only one around.
- Do you think Tillie feels satisfied with her life?
- What do you think she would change if she could?
- Overall, do you think Tillie truly enjoyed skating, or was it just something to pass the time and have a routine established?
- What does this book make you think about in regards to your own life?
Continuing the Conversation:
- Create your own graphic novel! Develop your own characters, or base it on your own life like Tillie did.
- Try a sport you’ve never done before!
About the Author & Illustrator:
Tillie Walden is a cartoonist from Austin, Texas. She graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies and has published several books. She loves cats, architecture, and going to bed early!