Breaking to the Beat!

By Publishers Weekly

Beginning in the 1970s, Acevedo creates a picture book ode to break dancing and the Bronx through a shy Puerto Rican protagonist named Manolo. Though “others said the Bronx was nothing but rubble,” and “corrupt politicians and greedy landlords” result in myriad problems, Manolo soaks up his environment, surrounded by family singing along to “Latin Boogaloo” and “throwing hip-swaying rumba parties.” Heading to his first-ever jam, he’s captivated by b-boys and b-girls who “danced with a mix of splits, twists, and shuffles inspired by James Brown’s flickering feet and funky music”—and, finding his groove, determines to become part of a dance crew. Morrison’s graffiti-inflected art style makes smart use of changing perspectives, crowd scenes, and dance silhouettes to showcase a triumphant story of a child honing his talent until “his flow loose, limber earned him the nickname KID FLEX.” Back matter includes an afterword and list of breaking terms.