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Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer (Step Into Reading, Step 4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Perfect for newly independent readers—the amazing true story of Michaela DePrince, one of America’s top ballerinas.
 
At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and quickly decided to make her dream of becoming a ...
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Overview

Perfect for newly independent readers—the amazing true story of Michaela DePrince, one of America’s top ballerinas.
 
At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and quickly decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since and is now a principal dancer in New York City and has been featured in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Oprah magazine.
 
Young readers will love learning about this inspiring ballerina in this uplifting and informative leveled reader. This Step 4 Step into Reading book is for newly independent readers who read simple sentences with confidence.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging story of triumph, ideal for novice readers." —School Library Journal

"A title sure to attract ballet aficionados, with added appeal for its depiction of an adoptive family and a ballerina who just happens to be black."--Kirkus Reviews

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
This is the true story of Michaela, an orphan living in poverty and sadness in Sierra Leone. She is teased and humiliated at the orphanage because of her vitiligo, a skin condition that causes parts of her skin to lose color. When she sees a picture of a ballerina on the front cover of a magazine, she becomes inspired and decides to learn to be a dancer. After being adopted by a family in the United States, she works hard to make that dream come true. First are English lessons, then dancing lessons, and then, at eight years old, she performs in a production of The Nutcracker. More hard work follows, a scholarship is won, and Michaela soon joins the ranks of professional ballerinas. She even wins a starring role in the documentary movie, First Position, highlighting the achievements of eight different dancers. The story of her life is told in simple language. Pronunciation guides and integrated definitions accompany unfamiliar words in the text. This book is rated Step Four (“Reading Paragraphs”) in the publisher’s “Step into Reading” program. It is also part of their “Biography Reader” series. This small book is illustrated with pictures containing beautiful colors and depth; there are also many photographs of Michaela throughout her life. This young woman’s journey from orphan to acclaimed ballerina is inspirational, particularly for children facing social, emotional, or physical challenges. The care taken with its writing and illustration make it a good book for young readers, either in the home or classroom. Reviewer: Leona Illig; Ages 6 to 8.
School Library Journal
09/01/2014
Gr 1–3—This series excels at giving advancing readers challenges while building on the vocabulary learned earlier, and this title about a young orphan from war-torn Sierra Leone who follows her dream of becoming a ballerina is no exception. Michaela dePrince describes how she was sent to an orphanage after her parents died. Later, she and the other girls at her orphanage left the country for the United States, where an American couple adopted both Michaela and her best friend, Mia. Michaela's adoptive mother (Elaine dePrince, the coauthor) arranged for the girl to take ballet lessons, and she was an eager student. After years of training, her dream came true, and she became a professional ballerina. This exciting, accessible tale includes large text, with a pronunciation guide for the ballet terms, such as barre or port de bras, and simple drawings to depict dance positions. A good balance between text and the painterly illustrations will draw readers in. Actual photos of Michaela and her family were included as well. An engaging story of triumph, ideal for novice readers.—Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-06
This autobiographical title for newly independent readers will reward efforts with an inspiring story about ballerina Michaela DePrince's life and passion for dance. Orphaned as a young child in Sierra Leone, Michaela is a shy girl whose vitiligo causes a loss of pigmentation on parts of her body. This makes her an easy target for teasing, but another child at the orphanage, Mia, befriends her. Another bright spot occurs when she is transfixed by a magazine picture of a ballerina. When an American family adopts her and Mia, their new mother promises that they will study ballet. Michaela's dreams come true, and she overcomes her shyness in order to perform as a ballerina. The narrative is broken up into chapters detailing her ongoing achievements, and difficult vocabulary is followed by parenthetical phonetic spellings to support decoding. Photographs document Michaela's life, including images of her time in the orphanage and of her participation in a film entitled First Position, among other highlights. These are interspersed with illustrations that depict ballet positions and Michaela on stage and in class. At its heart is the core message that hard work and determination are the keys to making any dream come true. A title sure to attract ballet aficionados, with added appeal for its depiction of an adoptive family and a ballerina who just happens to be black. (Early reader/memoir. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385755177
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Series: Step into Reading
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 409,451
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • File size: 23 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Michaela DePrince graduated from the American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school in New York, and is a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet. She travels between Amsterdam and New York City, where she lives with her family.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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