A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland

Growing up, Misty Copeland was a shy girl who loved to dance. Ballet opened up a whole new world where Misty was able to shine. Because she is African American, Misty faced barriers to becoming a dancer. Through a lot of hard work, determination, and incredible talent, Misty became a star at one of the top ballet companies in the world and helped change the face of dance.

The story chronicles Misty’s life from when she was in elementary school. Unlike most dancers, Misty didn’t start ballet until she was thirteen. In the beginning, Misty felt awkward and insecure, but she continued to work hard and improve.

Misty eventually moved to New York City and became a member of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). During her time with the theatre, Misty was the first African American dancer to be cast in a part for a major ballet company. However, she was devastated when she was injured and had to take a break from dance. Despite this, she overcame the obstacle and became the first African American woman to be the principal dancer at ABT.

Misty’s life is described through text and large, full-color illustrations. Each two-page spread has a full-page illustration and one page of oversized text. Dancing terminology appears in bold letters and a glossary is included at the back of the book. The end of the book also has a timeline of Misty’s life, four pictures of Misty performing. There is also a short article about another amazing girl, Alexa Narvaez, who sings and posts her videos on the internet. Even though the book’s format will appeal to younger readers, they may struggle with the difficult vocabulary. However, short chapters make A Girl Named Misty a good choice to read aloud.

A Girl Named Misty shows how hard work and dedication made Misty a successful dancer. Her motivational story will encourage girls to reach for their dreams. Even though the biography teaches about Misty’s life, the text doesn’t contain any direct quotes from Misty.

Even though Misty’s life revolved around dance, anyone who has ever faced an obstacle will relate to her. Misty’s story will teach readers that many obstacles can be overcome with hard work. In the end, “Misty, the shy little girl with the big talent, had become the star she was always meant to be.” Strong elementary readers looking for dance books will also want to read Out of Step by Jake Maddox.

Sexual Content

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 Drugs and Alcohol

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Supernatural

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According to Aggie

For 11-year-old Aggie, life is routine. She spends her time with her family and her best friend Fiona. When Fiona begins acting differently, Aggie isn’t sure what’s going on. They didn’t have a fight. Nothing has really changed, but Fiona isn’t spending time with her. Aggie wonders why Fiona is canceling plans and ignoring her. How should Aggie act around Fiona? Will she be able to make new friends?

Written in graphic novel format, younger readers will enjoy According to Aggie’s easy-to-read format and the cute colored pictures. The story has eight or fewer sentences per page, which makes the story accessible to even the most reluctant readers. Plus, readers will relate to Aggie’s fear that she will not be able to make new friends. Aggie is afraid that others won’t want to be her friend because they will think she is “weird” and “will catch the no-friend disease.”

All of the parents in the story are portrayed in a positive light and give different examples of healthy relationships. Three different mothers appear in the story, and although they make a brief appearance, they are clearly portrayed in a positive, caring light. Aggie’s mother helps Aggie work through her problems and suggests that Aggie write her feelings in a diary.

Because the story is told from Aggie’s point of view, the reader will understand her confusion and fear. The illustrations do an excellent job of portraying Aggie’s emotions. Even though the story focuses on Aggie’s internal struggle, there is enough action to keep readers interested. According to Aggie uses delightful illustrations and an interesting story to teach about the struggle to make friends.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

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Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

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Supernatural

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Spiritual Content

  • None

 

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