TAKING FLIGHT by Michaela DePrince

TAKING FLIGHT

From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
Age Range: 13 - 18
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

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 documentary 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)

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-385-75511-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSPIN THE SKY by Jill MacKenzie
by Jill MacKenzie
ChildrenSO, YOU WANT TO BE A DANCER? by Laurel van der Linde
by Laurel van der Linde
AdultWE ARE DISPLACED by Malala Yousafzai
by Malala Yousafzai