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Publication Date: 4 Jun 2015
Subject: Performing arts
Suitable for: Secondary
|Paperback||1 Jan 2015||
Hope in a ballet shoe : a true story
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The true life story of a young girl orphaned by war in Sierra Leone who became an international ballet star after being adopted by an American family.
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 and she sees the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
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 and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela 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 is a racist one, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, hearing the words "America's not ready for a black girl ballerina". And yet...
Today, Michaela is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of 19.
NOTE : Includes incidents of domestic violence, murder, war crimes and racism