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Written by Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince
The amazing true story of how an orphan from Sierra Leone has become a major US ballet star. Michaela DePrince’s life began in a country wracked by conflict. Her parents died when she was a baby. Placed in an orphanage by her cruel uncle she saw acts of unspeakable violence all around her but was saved herself by the care and wisdom of the owner of the orphanage who found adoptive US parents for the children in his charge. Together with her friend from Sierra Leone, Michaela was adopted by a remarkable family who not only gave them a home but also enabled Michaela to fulfil her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. Michaela and her adoptive mother tell their story with energy and good humour.
Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, Michaela DePrince witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated because of her skin condition, vitiligo. But there is hope: the Harmattan wind blows a magazine through the orphanage gates. Michaela picks it up and sees a beautiful image of a young woman dancing. One day, she thinks, I want to be this happy.
And then Michaela is adopted by an American couple. She can take the dance lessons she's dreamed of since finding her picture. Unfortunately, tragedy can find its way to Michaela in America, too, and her past can feel like it's haunting her. The world of ballet can be racist, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, despite hearing the words America's not ready for a black girl ballerina . Incredibly, today Michaela is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of 19.
This inspirational true story is perfect for fans of I am Malala.
‘One of the most heart wrenching and inspirational stories you'll read this year.’ The Bookseller
‘[T]he story she tells … is one of almost unimaginable turmoil and out-of-the-blue good fortune, much like the fairy-tale dances she now performs … [H]ere is where another hero of this book appears. DePrince has an amazing story to tell, and without her seemingly selfless mother and co-author, Elaine DePrince, she wouldn't be here to tell it.’ New York Times Book Review
‘A story of great courage that all women - young and old - should read.’ Tina Brown
|Publication date:||4th June 2015|
|Author:||Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince|
|Publisher:||Faber Children's Books an imprint of Faber & Faber|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 3|
|Topics:||Dance / Ballet, True Stories|
Michaela DePrince was born in 1995 in Sierra Leone. After the deaths of her parents, she moved to an orphanage from which she was adopted and taken to the US in 1999. Elaine DePrince, her new mother, noticed Michaela's obsession with ballet and arranged for her to begin lessons. Michaela is now a professional ballerina and dances with The Dutch National Ballet. She is recognised throughout the world as an inspirational woman: she featured in Huffington Post's Most Amazing Young People of the Year and Newsweek's 125 Women of Impact and has spoken at the United Nations.More About Michaela DePrince, Elaine DePrince