This book reads like a ‘from rags to riches’, an American dream, but the dream started in war torn Sierra Leone, where death ran thick through the street. Where poverty reigned, where death was a common friend for all those who tried to live. This the story of Mabinty Bangura, who was born and raised in Sierra Leone. Her parents died and she taken in the care of an uncle. This uncle brings her to a children’s home. This girl with a disease called vitiligo. Mabinty writes about her memories, at home, hearing the voices of her parents, about death and destruction that hits her family. She writes about the home where she stays and tries to survive. This children’s home gets the attention of American people, who want to adopt orphans. The couple DePrince adopt Mabinty Bangura and her little friend, another Mabinty. Mabinty had a dream and kept her dream. She carries with her a picture from a magazine. On this picture is a ballerina. She wants to be, one day, a ballerina. Every where she goes she carries this picture and at times she looks at it, as to remind herself of a dreamt future.
In the United States of America she gets the opportunity to be trained as a ballerina and this books tells this gripping story and all the endeavours of her parents to help the two girls and the other children in their family. At the end of this book Michaela DePrince dances in Amsterdam, with a famous ballet company. The latest information is that she has returned to the United States and dances with a company based in Boston.

This book has been a worthwhile read. I realize not all dreams come true. Sometimes the roads you travel turn out to be filled with nightmares. Sometimes what you try fails. Sometimes what you try succeeds.

Michaela DePrince and Elaine DePrince
Taking Flight:
From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
Random House 2014

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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