Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrinc

From eighteen year-old Michaela DePrince comes a memoir which will be of interest to students seeking true stories of survival and triumph.  The DePrince co-authors (mother and daughter) use simple and accessible language to tell Michaela’s tale of her early life in Sierra Leone during the country’s violent conflict.  Orphaned at age three and adopted by the American DePrince family at age four, Michaela relays what she can remember about her experiences as a bright little girl, her biological parents’ only child, born with vitiligo and a precocious ability with languages.  That little girl survived abuse as an orphan, and her memoir spends a fair amount of time narrating her difficult early years and her incredible survival and adjustment to life in the United States.  Readers will be heartened as they follow Michaela’s pursuit of her dream to become a professional ballet dancer and interested to learn about the challenges and obstacles she has overcome and those she still faces dancing in the U.S. (she is currently pursuing her dreams in Europe).  Social Studies teachers may find the initial chapters of the book a useful supplement in its firsthand account of a child’s experience during Sierra Leone’s civil war.  Recommended for independent reading for middle school girls. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Discover an interview with the co-authors published in Justine Magazine here.  (Thank you, Regan!)  Read an excerpt published in Teen Vogue here.

DePrince, Michaela and Elaine DePrince.  Taking Flight.  New York: Random House, 2014. Print.

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