Firebird

Book Summary: 

Ballerina Misty Copeland takes the hand of a young dancer who believes that the distance between herself and Copeland is too great. Copeland reassures her that she was once at the same place- with dreams of dancing but many hours of practice and performance to come. Copeland’s letter to the reader at the end of the story provides her motivation- to help other African Americans (and, perhaps, all under-represented people) see themselves in places traditionally occupied by the dominant culture.

Year: 
2015
Author: 
Misty Copeland
Illustrator: 
Christopher Myers
Publisher: 
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Guiding Question: 

Who do you picture when you think of famous, important, or successful people? Are there people of all races and ethnicities in those groups?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- Once, most ballerinas were white. Is that still true? Why might that be so?

Empathy- How would you feel if the only thing that kept you from your dream was the color of your skin?

Advocacy- Copeland’s letter to readers ends with, “I want to bring many with me to trace and create an even more vivid road to acceptance of yourself and from others.” Is she being an advocate? If so, how?

Action- With your teacher, find out more about advocacy. Are you willing to become an advocate for a cause you believe in?