Tag Archive | Europe

BLACK BALLERINAS: My Journey to Our Legacy, by Misty Copeland & Salena Barnes (picture book review)

book cover of Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy, byMisty Copeland; illustrated by Salena Barnes. Published by Aladdin S&S | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Every child needs role models who strive to improve life,
who work hard,
who look like them…

Misty Copeland saw very few Black ballet dancers as she grew up, cherishing each one that she met on her path to become the first African American female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater in 2015.

They told of being denied lessons as children and positions with dance companies because of their race. It was worse in earlier times, so the accomplishments of Black ballet dancers were overlooked or erased from dance history books.

Copeland began searching for the stories of those talented women who had preceded her. Mostly American, some were forced by prejudice to dance outside the US, others trained for years and were denied their turn on the stage.

Now this book highlights 27 outstanding Black ballerinas of the past and present: Lauren Anderson, Aesha Ash, Debra Austin, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne, Janet Collins, Marion Cuyjet, Stephanie Dabney, Frances Taylor Davis, Michaela DePrince, Nikisha Fogo, Robyn Gardenhire, Celine Gittens, Alicia Graf Mack, Lorraine Graves, Francesca Hayward, Tai Jimenez, Christina Johnson, Virginia Johnson, Nora Kimball-Mentzos, Erica Lall, Andrea Long-Naidu, Ashley Murphy-Wilson, Victoria Rowell, Anne Benna Simms, Raven Wilkinson, and Ebony Williams.

Copeland’s retellings of their dance experiences – good and bad – and signature roles include the too-common theme of “not fitting in” with majority white dance troupes. She acknowledges that colorism still impacts darker-skinned performers more than mixed race women like herself.

Barnes’ elegant and energetic illustrations capture each woman’s vibrant grace – en pointe, pirouette, leaping, in the spotlight.

This outstanding picture book is indeed an ‘everybody book’ – get it at your local library or independent bookstore today!

Who’s your career role model?

Book info: Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy / Misty Copeland; illustrated by Salena Barnes. Aladdin, 2021. [author site] [artist site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Royally Lost, by Angie Stanton (book review) – her prince is here…on a motorcycle?

book cover of Royally Lost by Angie Stanton published by Harper TeenThey’re escaping parents and routines
didn’t know they’d find each other,
the prince and the American girl –
can they bear to lose each other so soon?

Nikolai’s insistence that the Mondovian royal family not be merely a decorative burden on his small kingdom falls on deaf ears. Becca’s horrible recent breakup (and he’ll be in the same college dorm with her in 6 weeks!) and dislike of her so-put-together stepmother lead to the Midwestern teen’s first rebellious acts. And romance blooms from one casual encounter in the quaint European streets…

Find this May 2014 paperback at your local local library or favorite independent bookstore, and travel through Europe by riverboat, motorcycle, and the wings of love!


Book info: Royally Lost / Angie Stanton.  Harper Teen, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Stuck on a boring European tour with her family, Becca finds the love of her life – a real prince taking an unapproved holiday – but after the ten-day tour is over…

When Nickolai’s father orders him to military training, the Crown Prince sneaks away incognito for time off from protocol and formal dinners.

This riverboat tour through Austria should be “good family time” for Becca and Dylan’s harried executive dad and designer-clad stepmom, but both teens want time away from historic sights after day one.

Honoring her late mom’s deathbed admonition to be good hasn’t helped Becca much lately, so it’s time to break some rules and find a way to spend more time with cute Nik  – before the King’s security forces catch up with the errant prince!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)