Taking Flight : From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
by Deprince, Michaela; Deprince, Elaine






"The memoir of Michaela DePrince, who lived the first few years of her live in war-torn Sierra Leone until being adopted by an American Family. Now seventeen, she is one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States"-





Michaela DePrince graduated from the American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school in New York, and is a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet. She travels between Amsterdam and New York City, where she lives with her family.


From the Hardcover edition.





The journey for Mabinty Bangura from a precocious child with a doting father to tortured war orphan number 27 to star ballerina Michaela DePrince is both harrowing and extraordinary. Writing with her adoptive mother, Elaine, Michaela recalls her birth family and village life before the Revolutionary United Front ran rampant over Sierra Leone and everyone and everything in their destructive path. Michaela's condition of vitiligo, which causes spots on her skin, intensified her challenges. Called a "spotted devil child," Michaela used her disease to scare off undue harassment. From the moment a magazine photo of a ballerina flew into her face while living at the orphanage, Michaela's dreams were formed. Being placed in an American home with a loving adoptive family, where Elaine transformed vitiligo into pixie dust and supported her every aspiration, is the truly unheralded foundation to Michaela's dedication to live her best life. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.





Dancing becomes a dream fulfilled. She is born Mabinty Bangura in Sierra Leone during the Harmattan, a season of Saharan winds. Despite her vitiligo, a skin condition causing spotting, her parents love and nurture her. In 1991, civil war destroys that life, as "debil" (rebel + devil) soldiers bring destruction and the deaths of her parents. A white couple from America adopts her from an orphanage, and Mabinty, now Michaela, leaves starvation and atrocities behind—but not the nightmares. A magazine cover of a ballerina gives her a dream of dancing on stage in tutus and toe shoes, and her American family encourages that dream with classes and attendance at performances. Unfortunately, American racism also becomes part of her life in shopping malls and at ballet schools. With incredible perseverance, family support and talent, Michaela succeeds: She is now dancing with the Dutch National Ballet. She has been a media star and was one of six dancers featured in the 2012 docu mentary First Position. Readers will find her life story gripping whether or not they are dance fans. The dialogue is fictionalized, but the heart of the journey resonates in this mother/daughter collaboration. A revealing and absorbing journey through dance classes and competitions to success. (Memoir. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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