Breaking to the Beat!

By Booklist

This joyous celebration of break dancing is a visual treat. Vibrant full-page illustrations pop off pages, perfectly complementing the spare but effective text. The story begins in the Bronx in the early 1970s, evoking the Puerto Rican-inspired rhythms, and follows the adventures of Manolo, a fictitious composite character. Fascinated by the beats and the pulsing energy, Manolo teaches himself how to flow with the music, and goes on to become a breaker with his own crew, the Borinquén. Manolo and other crews burst into the media spotlight as the action segues into the ’80s and beyond, appearing in movies and competing in national and international competitions. Bold, highly defined pictures capture the dancers’ elasticity and grace in their increasingly complex moves, encouraged by the refrain, “Hip-Hop, y’all, and ya don’t stop!” This simple tale is set against the social history of the Bronx, which transformed from an impoverished but populous area into a neglected, rubble-filled urban landscape before hip-hop played a role in its revitalization. This enticing introduction includes an illustrated glossary of footwork, power moves, and routines and is just in time for the upcoming debut of breaking at the 2024 Paris Olympics.