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Life in Motion
Cover of Life in Motion
Life in Motion
An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition
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Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.As...
Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.As...
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  • Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.
    As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing—at the late age of thirteen—no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field.

    Her road to excellence was not easy—a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.

    Life in Motion is a story for all the kids who dare to be different, dream bigger, and want to break stereotypes in whatever they do.

About the Author-

  • Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African-American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. The bestselling author of Life in Motion and a children's picture book, Firebird, she is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2015, Misty was named to Time magazine's 100 list and one of Glamour magazine's "Women of the Year." She lives in New York City. Visit her online at MistyCopeland.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 31, 2014
    The first African-American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) of New York City, Copeland was a latecomer to the art and took her first class at age 13.Told in graceful prose, the memoir recounts her quick but singular rise—her struggles with compulsive overeating, racism, injuries, and self-doubt, as well as high points like discovering acceptance in the melting pot of New York, reconnecting with her father, founding her own dance-wear company, and performing with Prince. Copeland offers a strikingly generous view of her family and those closest to her who caused pain and confusion, at one point leaving her in destitution at a hotel with five siblings while only in her teens. Now age 31, Copeland demonstrates a remarkable ability to focus on the positive. Although she expresses a responsibility to break through color barriers for aspiring black dancers, her achievements will encourage all those attempting to beat the odds in competitive fields. Similar to Dancing Through It, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer's account of surviving and, ultimately, thriving in a janus-faced profession, Copeland's story will help young dancers to hold fast to their dreams, remain true to themselves, and avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2016
    A ballet milestone was reached when Copeland was named the first African-American principal ballerina at American Ballet Theater. Copeland begins her memoir with her difficult childhood of many stepfathers and little money. Recognized by local dance teachers as someone with great potential, she was encouraged to take lessons, apply for summer studies, and pursue what ultimately became her realized dream: a career as an elite dancer. Copeland is open about her mixed-race family's difficulties and how "Dancing was my escape." She is frank about discussing her enormous talent along with her conflicted feelings about her mother's role versus those of her teachers who took her in and provided for her, leading to a court battle for emancipation. Famous black performers sought her out and were a source of strength and comfort; she even performed with Prince. Always present, of course, is the fact that the world of ballet is "full of ivory-skinned dancers." Skin color, hair, and makeup needs set African-American ballet dancers apart, resulting in many instances of prejudice both overt and subtle. In this young readers' edition of her 2014 memoir of the same name and with Colbert's assistance, Copeland writes in a conversational tone. She devotes much space to her innate abilities, her ABT career, and her overwhelming desire to succeed and be an inspiration. As Copeland fiercely reminds herself, "This is for the little brown girls"--and any reader in need of inspiration. (Biography. 11-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2016

    Gr 4-7-Although Copeland didn't begin her ballet training until the age of 13, she transcended the competition in just five years' time and became a professional dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Despite Copeland's extraordinary natural talent, her dance career has not been an easy one. In this young readers edition of her 2014 autobiography, she relates her experiences growing up in a low-income, single-parent family and recounts the custody battle between her mother and her dance teacher. Copeland goes on to describe the challenges of her life as a professional ballerina, most notably her isolation as a black artist in a predominantly white field. She writes that "some people still notice [her] skin color before they notice [her] talent" and that others "simply don't believe brown girls have a place in classical ballet." While Copeland's overall tone is conversational, her frank discussion of race is serious and relevant to tween readers. She expresses gratitude for her numerous friends and supporters and recalls her delight at certain opportunities and roles, such as her collaboration with Prince and her landmark performance as the Firebird in 2012. Copeland closes her book by saying that she wants young dancers to "look at what I've accomplished and realize they can achieve this dream, too." VERDICT Copeland's story will interest, inform, and inspire budding ballerinas and deserves a place in every library that serves middle grade readers.-Magdalena Teske, Naperville Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books divadancer101 - This is one of my favorite books ever! It is about Misty Copeland's life growing up which I found very interesting and exciting. My favorite part was hearing about how she got into the American Ballet Theatre, and how she got better from there. I really recommend this book for people who like dance, or for people who like stories about overcoming something.

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