Taking Flight

Taking Flight

From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Book - 2016
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Random House, Inc.
The extraordinary memoir of an orphan who danced her way from war-torn Sierra Leone to ballet stardom, most recently appearing in Beyonce’s Lemonade and as a principal in a major American dance company.
"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.

“Michaela DePrince is the embodiment of what it means to fight for your dream.” Today
“Michaela DePrince is a role model for girls on and off stage.”NYLON

Baker & Taylor
The youngest named principal dancer for the Dance Theatre of Harlem traces her rise from orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to one of America's most accomplished ballerinas, discussing her adoption, training, and high-profile performances.

& Taylor

The youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem traces her extraordinary rise from being a reviled orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to becoming one of America's most accomplished ballerinas, tracing her adoption, rigorous training and high-profile performances. Simultaneous eBook.

Publisher: New York : Ember, 2016
Edition: 1st Ember ed
ISBN: 9780385755146
Branch Call Number: 792.8028 DEP
Characteristics: 249 p., [16] p. of plates :,col. ill. ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: DePrince, Elaine


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The true story of Michaela DePrince's child hood from War Orphan in Sierra Leone to a top ballerina. Her story is one of love, courage, perseverance, and hope. This is a great biography for anyone interested in dance, but the story goes deeper. Well written and interesting.

Mar 01, 2017

The book Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince is a wonderful book about a young war orphan girl who grows into a beautiful women dancing as a ballerina at the Dutch National Ballet. My heart was truly captured by all of the life morals and lessons I received from reading this book. Not only were the life lessons learned useful, but the story that Michaela tells is way beyond words to describe. I encourage all to read Michaela DePrince's book Taking Flight!

Nov 12, 2016

The first half of this book covers Michaela DePrince’s traumatic childhood growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone. Michaela witnesses extreme violence, and she distracts herself with dreams of being a ballerina after finding a cover of Dance Magazine. After Michaela is adopted by an American family, she starts to take dance lessons. I first heard of Michaela DePrince from the documentary First Position, and this book is a good way to hear her story in her own words. Michaela is still very young, and early in her dance career, but this is a very inspiration story from someone who overcame unbelievable obstacles to become a ballerina.

Jan 18, 2016

This is such a wonderful book. I loved this book so much!

LMcShaneCLE Jan 09, 2015

Watch the inspiring Random House video:

Nov 11, 2014

Recommended for young teens who are looking for an inspiring story.

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