26 September, 2016

Hope in a ballet shoe by Michaela and Elaine Deprince

Hope in a Ballet Shoe : Orphaned by War, Saved by Ballet - An Extraordinary True StoryThis book is a teen read but is interesting to people of all ages.

"Ballet is probably the only career in which you begin training as a preschooler".

This shows Michaela's passion for ballet at a very young age. She proved a black girl could be a ballerina as well, where white girls were preferred.The moves of a ballet dancer on stage are artistic and emotional. The audience does not witness the pain and hardships that the ballerina has gone through.

Michaela was born in Sierra Leone, Ghana to loving parents who loved their daughter in a society that prized boys. This time was short lived, as they were killed in the atrocities of a war that made her early childhood unbearable. She lived in an orphanage where she was number 27 and the least loved child. She was exposed to horrors that no young child could comprehend.

Thankfully her adoption by a very loving American family at age four gave her the security that she had always yearned for.

A movie called First position based on her life was released in 2011. She was an inspiration for other children. She was motivated to make the best of the opportunities she had been given by her family, and finally joined the Dutch National Ballet, which was one of the top classical dance companies in the world.

Her motivation came from the photograph of a young ballerina on a magazine cover which blew into the orphanage all those years ago. I think if we all carry a burning desire to achieve our dreams like this little girl did, we will get there in the end!

TitleHope in a ballet shoe
Author: Michaela & Elaine Deprince

Reviewed by Kanchan T from Blockhouse Bay library.

Kanchan T is drawn to inspirational stories and believes that we can learn from them.

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