Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina – by Misty Copeland with Brandy Colbert

51hd3y0cxul  Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (young readers’ edition) by Misty Copeland with Brandy Colbert, Aladdin, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7979-0

Format: hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Genre: Autobiography

What did you like about the book? Misty Copeland’s story is very inspiring and she tells it in a direct, matter-of-fact way. Young readers should be easily engaged by her difficult home life as a child, her decision to move away from home, and her progression through ballet training. It’s particularly inspiring to learn that she did not start dancing until she was much older than the typical dancer, and that she overcame so many obstacles, both in her family life and in the ballet world.  She speaks honestly about the racism she encountered as an African-American in the classical ballet world, and of her persistence and drive to achieve her goal of becoming a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Also, in spite of her challenging childhood, her love for her family comes through clearly, and this is refreshing. While not shying away from the challenges she faced, Misty expresses deep appreciation for all of the people who believed in her and supported her through the years. Young dancers, in particular, will love this book, but it has something to offer anyone who is striving toward a difficult goal and overcoming challenging circumstances. Highly recommended.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing. This book is excellent.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? Recommend to readers who love dance, but also to those who like compelling and inspiring real-life stories. Readers who are inspired by Misty’s story should be introduced to the story of dancer Michaela DePrince, who was featured in the DVD First Position. Her memoir Taking Flight, is geared for young adults but could also be recommended.

Who should buy this book? Middle schools and public libraries should purchase this book.

Where would you shelve it ?  In the biography section

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, even if you are not a dancer.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: December 22, 2016


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