Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask Us

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina: Home

Provides links to resources related to DePrince's compelling memoir


Welcome to our library resource guide for the 13th annual FSCJ Author Series Learning Community, this year we are featuring Michaela DePrince memoir, Taking Flight: from War Orphan to Star Ballerina. Use the tabs above to navigate the guide. You will find books, eBooks, eVideos, and articles, many from peer-reviewed journals, on the rich variety of topics covered by the book. This guide provides quick access to research materials related to Taking Flight, the featured book in the 2020-2021 FSCJ Author Series Learning Community.    

The main themes of Taking Flight are Michaela's resilience that helped her overcome many obstacles in becoming a ballerina. Some of these obstacles are racism in performing arts, body image, and the Sierra Leone Civil war. Another central theme found throughout this mother and daughter book collaboration is family and dance.  You will find resources discussing these themes at the top of each section of the LibGuide. 

Michaela DePrince

Michaela DePrince was born in war-torn Sierra Leone during the country’s decade-long civil war. Rebels killed her father, and shortly after her mother died of fever and starvation.  Michaela had vitiligo, a condition that causes patches of skin to lose its color.  In Michaela’s native land vitiligo was considered a curse of the devil.  This caused her uncle to abandon her at an orphanage.  There she was taunted and abused by the women who cared for the children.  They called her the devil’s child.

-Excerpt of Author Bio from Michaela Deprince’s webpage.  Read more here.
- Follow her on Instagram


Visit Penguin Random House Publishers to read an excerpt from Taking Flight here.

Want to read more? Locate a paper copy of Taking Flight at your local LLC or read the eBook online.


You can find numerous reviews of Taking Flight online. For instance, you can read reviews from kirkus, Publishers Weekly or School Library Journal.

An Introduction to Taking Flight


Michaela DePrince YAGP 2009 - Philadelphia, PA semi-finals.

Login Required

Library and Learning Commons (LLC) resources are restricted to current FSCJ students, faculty, and staff.  FSCJ requires all users to "login" to myFSCJ to gain access to online Library resources.

Social Media