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 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.