Michaela DePrince was born in a poor and dreadful part of Africa. she was orphaned at a young age and named number 27 at the orphanage (the least liked). One day she came across a ripped-out magazine page with a picture of a ballerina wearing sparkling pink toe shoes. Michaela decided that when she got adopted she would become just like that ballerina…and kept that picture hidden from everyone but herself. Through out her life so far, she reminded herself of the ballerina in the picture any time she got picked on or mistreated.
At the age of four years old, Michaela was finally adopted by a loving American family, and became sisters with number 26 from the orphanage. Once with her mom, Elaine DePrince, Michaela showed her the magazine page and demonstrated what she wanted with a little dance because she didn’t know english yet. She was worried her mom would disagree with Michaela being a ballerina… but Elaine went along with it and encouraged MIchaela every step of the way.
Michaela is now a young adult, and is considered a rising star in the ballet world. She has starred on both stage and screen ballet productions. Her dark skin made it difficult for her to break into the ballet world, and she plans on making sure every African American has the same chance to dance as anybody else.
This book was really intriguing from the start. I loved Michaela’s personality and determination. One thing that I enjoyed was the fact that Michaela told the story from her own point of view. I felt the emotions she was feeling and the thoughts inside her head. Taking Flight is a complex book and I recommend it for ages 10 and up. Dancers everywhere will definitely be inspired by Michaela’s amazing story.