"Michaela is nothing short of a miracle, born to be a ballerina. Read more...
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"Michaela is nothing short of a miracle, born to be a ballerina. For every young brown, yellow, and purple dancer, she is an inspiration " --Misty Copeland, world-renowned ballet dancer Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a "devil child" for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is now the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has appeared in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Nightline. In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet's most exciting rising stars. "A story of great courage that all women--young and old--should read." --Tina Brown
- ISBN-13: 9780385755115
- ISBN-10: 0385755112
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: October 2014
- Page Count: 256
- Reading Level: Ages 12-17
- Dimensions: 8.55 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-11
- Reviewer: Staff
A compelling narrative of the journey of an African orphan whose hard work, emotional strength, and supportive adoptive American parents helped her build a life as a professional dancer, 19-year-old Michaela DePrince’s memoir, coauthored by her mother, holds many stories. Chapters on Michaela’s early childhood in Africa present a powerful portrait of family love and affection set against horrific images of the violence enacted by rebels in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. Later chapters offer a close look at the ups and downs of adapting to life in America for the four African girls Elaine DePrince and her husband ultimately adopted. The book’s strong thread is Michaela’s lifelong passion for ballet and her candid depiction of the physical and emotional struggles of becoming a black classical ballerina. There is plenty of ballet detail for dance lovers to revel in, and the authors achieve a believable, distinctive teenage voice with a nice touch of lyrical description: “I... learned that pain, like the green of the jungle leaves, comes in many shades.” Photos not seen by PW. Ages 12–up. Agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. (Oct.) ■