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Author:Michaela De Prince
Target:Grades 6 and up
What this book is about:
This is a memoir of Michaela, whose parents were killed in war torn Sierra Leone. She is put in an orphanage where she is referred to as number 27 and she sees disease and death all around her. Michaela finds an old ballet magazine at the orphanage and is mesmerized by the ballerina on the cover and this is were her dreams of dance begin. When she is adopted at the age of 4 by an American couple they foster her love of dance as she works to become one of a very few number of female black dancers to compete for a position as a classical ballerina.
Why I love this book:
To see how her life began and then where she ended up is absolutely inspiring. Her life in Sierra Leone is brutal and kids have to be prepared for some accounts of death that were the reality for Michaela at the time. However, her journey is full of hope and honest self evaluation which makes her a very endearing figure.
The book touches on her issues of being a black ballet dancer in a predominately white field, but in the end the book is not about race. It is more an honest look at her situation. This book should be inspiring for any kid that doesn’t fit the mold of what is typical for their passion.
Who this book is for:
Wonderful book for girls who love dance, but it does transcend simply a dance book. I think most girls will be moved by her story and amazed by what she had to endure and what she accomplished.
Michaela was one of the dancers featured in the documentary film First Position. I watched the film after reading the book and it was wonderful. Definitely a film the whole family can enjoy. I have included the trailer at the end of this blog.
To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.