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Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnessed atrocities that no child ever should. Her father was killed by rebels and her mother died of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela was mistreated and saw the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
Then 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.
June 4th, 2015
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