The Last Dance

written by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Debrah Santini

A sentimental story of Bessie and Ninny, childhood friends and sweethearts, celebrating life and growing old together.

Appropriate for older readers

"Every human being has a right to three things: to dance... to sing... to tell stories."

Childhood sweethearts Ninny and Bessie make a pact that when one of them dies, the other will come to the graveyard and dance on the grave. The story spans a lifetime, from the young couple's early moonlight dances at Ninny's grandfather's grave through marriage, World War II, and their last anniversary. In the end, Bessie fulfills her promise and is seen dancing barefoot near her beloved's grave. Impressionistic watercolors, rendered in muted shades of rose, smoke blue, and browns, effectively capture the bittersweet mood of the story.

Cluttered backgrounds for the pastel illustrations and the script font may be distracting for the younger readers.