Aimed at newly independent readers, this short, illustrated book tells the inspirational, true story of Michaela DePrince, a war orphan from Sierra Leone whose dreams of becoming a ballerina were realised when she was adopted and taken to a new life in America. There, she worked hard to overcome doubts to become a black ballerina and role model to other young girls.
The short, clear text, pink, sparkly cover and very appealing, lively illustrations by Ella Okstad all combine to give the impression of a traditional beginner reader for ballet loving girls, but this book has a lot more to offer. This is the UK publication of a carefully-adapted younger reader edition of Michaela DePrince’s memoir Hope in a Ballet Shoe. It is an inspiring autobiography with a story of dreams achieved against all odds. It is co-authored by Michaela’s adoptive mother, an inspirational woman in her own right, and a positive message about the power of adoption can be added to such other important themes as having dreams, overcoming obstacles, friendship and the importance of hard work, dedication and encouraging others. This is a beautiful, simple and emotionally powerful story; it packs a big punch for a little book whilst never losing accessibility for its intended age range. Highly recommended.