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Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by War, Saved by Ballet: An Extraordinary True Story

by Michaela and Elaine DePrince - £7.99  Faber & Faber (Faber Children's Books) (2015)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780571314478 | ISBN 10: 0571314473

Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she 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.
 
Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela begins to take dance lessons. But life in the States isn't without difficulties. 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 DePrince is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of nineteen. This is a heart-breaking, inspiring autobiography by a teenager who shows us that, beyond everything, there is always hope for a better future.

(Price & availability last checked: June 2015)

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In booklists: Biography and Autobiography - Books for Young Adults, Empowering Black & Asian Girls and Young Women, Peace and War - Books for Young Adults,
In categories: History & Biography, Childrens & Teenage Books, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, Peace & Human Rights,

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