Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by war, saved by ballet: an extraordinary true story

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Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by war, saved by ballet: an extraordinary true story

Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by war, saved by ballet: an extraordinary true story

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Simply, yet compellingly written, this is an inspiring story of hope, courage and believing in one's dreams. The orphans are in danger in war-torn Sierra-Leone but some American families come to their rescue and she starts a new life in America. Then the civil war rips her family apart: her father is murdered by rebels, and her mother sickens and dies. I was blown away by the love portrayed in this book and how it overpowers the atrocities of Michaela's early life. The cultural differences, as well as the impact that war and abuse had on both girls created fears that would appear unfounded to the onlooker, and that were overcome, in time, by the help of their family.

Soon after the discovery of the ballerina, Michaela was adopted by an American family that encouraged her to pursue her passion for ballet.

One day when Michaela DePrince - then Mabinty Barunga - was outside and was caught in a severe wind storm, a page from a magazine blew into a her face. While attending the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre, Michaela worked hard to develop her skills so that she could overcome stereotypes of conventional beauty and racial barriers in the world of ballet. Then the rest of the story follows Michaela when she and Mabinty get adopted by American parents and follows her dream to become a ballet dancer. There is a fair bit of “ no one likes me cause I'm black” in this story, however considering the context (Classical Ballet), I felt that the whining was warranted. She went to live in the US, pursued her dreams of ballet and even appears on Dancing with the Stars.

An easy read but a touching one, and I am interested to learn what Michaela has achieved since writing this memoir at only 17. is one of almost unimaginable turmoil and out-of-the-blue good fortune, much like the fairy-tale dances she now performs. I reccommend this book if you are in to dance, or even if you're not, you might enjoy this true story of a girl who followed her dream.Though they were motivated by money, and they were not the nicest men, they did lead me out of the horror of the war in Sierra Leone and into the arms of a loving mother. Hope in a Ballet Shoe is a true story about Michaela DePrince, a little girl who lost her parents before the age of five, a little girl who saw her favorite teacher brutally, sickeningly murdered by a group of war rebels, a girl who was abused at an orphanage, who was starved and plagued with a myriad of diseases. With classics such as Ted Hughes's The Iron Man and award-winners including Emma Carroll's Letters from the Lighthouse, Faber Children's Books brings you the best in picture books, young reads and classics.

Though the book doesn't hide the sacrifices made by Michaela and her parents, their selflessness, passion for life, and love for each other make those sacrifices look so small in comparison. Elaine DePrince, her new mother, noticed Michaela's obsession with ballet and arranged for her to begin lessons. Michaela's childhood in Sierra Leone was harrowing, with her parents dying when she is very young, leaving her an orphan. But to say that it has saved me is not true, because I needed to be saved long before I arrived at my first ballet class. The book is very much focused on family ties, and how in spite of the effects past events can have on young children, love and patience can overcome these obstacles.The memoir follows her journey from an orphanage in Africa to her life as a professional ballerina, and chronicles the hardships of getting into the industry not just as one of many competing young women but also as a minority. This book reminded me yet again that to dream, to believe and to stay true to yourself is a recipe for personal fulfillment.

Trigger warnings: war, death of a parent, violence, graphic death, gore, death of a sibling, grief, racism, mentions of HIV. Being written by Michaela DePrince and her mother, who are not professional authors, the writing was not the most impressive part of the book but it did come across as authentic. However, amongst the darkness, Mabinity found her love for dance there and a young girl who became her best friend and would be for years to come. A tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people seize the chance to break free.I changed the names of these people to protect their privacy and because I couldn’t locate them to get permission. Today, Michaela DePrince is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of nineteen. The book also includes pictures of Michaela from her time in the orphanage right up to her life today as a prima ballerina.



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