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Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird
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Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,036 Ratings  ·  335 Reviews
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl--an every girl--whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Lyrical and affecting text paire
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Sep 10, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wow! Misty Copeland, soloist at American Ballet Theatre, is only their second African-American soloist in their history and the first in more than 20 years. Here she writes her debut picture book and through it encourages other young dancers of color. Lest you think this is a book just for dancers, it is not. It is for anyone who needs to hear a voice of success speak about how important dedication and hard work is to creating that success. Copeland tells it all in poetry that soars and dances ...more
Ashley Teagle
Sep 28, 2014 Ashley Teagle rated it it was amazing
"Firebird" by Misty Copeland is one of the best picture books I have read this year. The story is about a young dancer who doesn't quite believe in herself enough. With a few inspirational words from Misty Copeland herself, the young dancer can see herself as a star ballerina.

The book is written as what I would I would describe as a poem. The simplicity of the text makes it appropriate for younger readers, but the complexity of the message signals a great book for older children, too.

The illustr
Aug 10, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful, inspirational, and poetic tale that shows how hard work and determination can take you far. I love how Misty Copeland lifts up a young girl and explains how she was once a beginner, too.

The illustrations by Christopher Myers are colorful and expressive, but sometimes the body proportions are a bit disturbing.

When I heard the announcement on June 30th that she became the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theater's 75-year his
Mar 25, 2015 NebraskaIcebergs rated it liked it
In Firebird, ballerina Misty Copeland shows a young girl how to dance like a Firebird. The illustrations are lavish, while the text is poetic. The picture book is a must-have for any lover of ballet. Especially as a read-aloud, coupled with Misty’s Dear Reader note, Firebird should also serve to inspire anyone in pursuit of a dream.

The lavish artwork cannot fail but to draw one’s attention to Firebird. Indeed, the fiery red and orange, cool blue and purple, and splashes of white are my favorite
Feb 11, 2015 Marisa rated it it was amazing
This book has brought a new perspective to my life as an educator in a diverse city.

In a poetic sort of way, "Firebird" details the story of Misty Copeland, a young professional dancer, who redefined what it means to be a ballet dancer in the professional world. Copeland, who is of Italian, German and African-American descent, started dancing at the age of 13 (believed to be too late for a ballet dancer to start his/her studies and be a successful dance) and quickly became one of the best dance
Michele Knott
Sep 10, 2014 Michele Knott rated it it was amazing
Beautiful picture book told in flowing verse with strong descriptions. Follow your dreams, regardless of color, believe in yourself.
I love how in the author's note Misty Copeland explains how when she looked at books about ballerinas she didn't see herself, but images "of what a ballerina should be, and she wasn't me, brown with tendrils sweeping her face."
Favorite line "I'm gray as rain heavy as naptime..."
Jen Fulmer
Jul 10, 2015 Jen Fulmer rated it it was amazing
Beautiful prose and pictures. I look forward to sharing this with my daughter as she grows.
Nov 03, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, children
The pictures are amazing. They really make the story.
Jun 14, 2016 Megan rated it liked it
1) My rationale for selecting Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird as part of my culturally diverse text set is because it fits in with an overall 'theme' – an African American woman as a main character or primary focus for the book. Firebird tells the story of a young African American ballerina who doubts her ability to be successful in her chosen field. She compares herself to her idol, Misty Copeland, one of the few African American women to ...more
Jordan Schmidt
Jun 18, 2015 Jordan Schmidt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
While reading this book, I realized I could make multiple text-to-self connections. A text-to-self connection is a connection that I made from the book with something that I've personally experienced, or something that I can relate to.
I can personally relate to the young girl in the book in many ways. First, I can relate to her because when I was younger I had some of the same feelings that she had. I wasn't very confident as a young person, especially as a young dancer. I didn't think I would a
with those first few lines of Firebird by Misty Copeland, the tears were already streaming down my face. I know I'm a crier by nature so perhaps the fact that I was tearing up by page one doesn't hold much weight, but I generally don't cry at the beginning of a book. That was an unexpected turn of events, I must say.

So what is it that affected me so deeply? It wasn't just the words, but seeing them paired with Christopher Myers' emotional, sweeping illustrations, in addition to seeing the symbol
Feb 08, 2016 Caroline rated it it was amazing
With vivid illustrations and precise, thoughtful words, Misty Copeland and Christopher Myers tell the story of a young ballerina. Those who love ballet will appreciate the depiction of Misty Copeland, an American Ballet Theatre soloist, as she guides and teaches the young ballerina, encouraging her to reach for her dreams of becoming an accomplished ballerina. In a letter to her readers at the end of the book, Copeland describes her struggle to find ballet books about African American ballerinas ...more
Emily Sutherland
Jun 15, 2015 Emily Sutherland rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Firebird is a great text-to-everything connection. For me it had a great text-to-self connection. When I was young I wanted to be a dancer like my mom and older sister. Like the young dancer in the book I felt like there was a gap between my dream and me. Sure I was in a class with older girls, due to two to one tutoring when I was younger. However, I still wasn't as good as my sister. The one passage that I really connected to was, "in a pas de deux a music box for two we will wrap our hearts ...more
Jamie Sorenson
Jun 22, 2016 Jamie Sorenson rated it it was amazing
I made a Text-to-self connection to this book, which means I connect the text to my own memories and thoughts/experiences. There is a page in this book where the young dancer is very down on herself and sees all of her flaws as reasons why she can't succeed. The page reads "me? I'm as gray as rain, heavy as naptime, low as a storm pressing on rooftops." She feels that she cannot be as graceful and light-on-her feet as a true dancer. Later in the book she finds her confidence. I can
Professional Support/ Diverse Lit Paper Resource

Summary: Firebird by Misty Copeland is a poetic dialogue between a young African-American girl and her heroine, an established African-American ballerina. The young girl is discouraged by what seems to be a long and impossible road to in achieving what the young woman has accomplished. The older ballerina encourages and reminds her that she, too, was at the beginning of that road at one time, and that the young girl just needs to take one step at a
Miranda Knipfer
Jun 15, 2015 Miranda Knipfer rated it really liked it
TS connection
“I was a dancer just like you a dreaming shooting star of a girl with work and worlds ahead. “
I connect to this statement not in that I was a dancer but that I was an athlete who dreamed to do great things, who admired those ahead of me to one day be just like them. This book uses these dreams to appeal to young girls and their own dreams and aspirations not just to be a dancer but to be anything that they wish to be. It encourages girls that all of their own idols once s
Kristine Hansen
Sep 14, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it it was amazing
What makes this book hard to classify is both story and author. There's a bit of autobiography here - the ballerina tells the story to the child who needs to hear encouragement at a time when goals seem too far away. So we have picture book, we have inspirational, along with the bits that ring so true that you know the author felt these very things herself and doesn't mind sharing them with us. Overall this is a beautiful book, one I would give to any aspiring ballerina. Especially, perhaps, on ...more
Haley Svendgard
Jun 14, 2015 Haley Svendgard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
Text to text: Relating this book to another book or text that we have read before.

I think this book relates a lot to Fish in a tree. The young ballerina in the book reminds me a lot of Ally in the book Fish in a Tree. Ally didn't think she would ever be able to read and the young ballerina didn't think she would be as good as Misty. Misty helps boost her self confidence just like Mr. Daniels boosted Ally's self confidence in Fish in a Tree. Both Ally and the young ballerina end up with high self
I'm really not entirely sure whether to consider this fiction or nonfiction. It isn't really a story. It is addressing the young people and telling them they can follow their dreams and become a ballerina as she did even though she is a person of color. As everyone has said, the remarkable part of the book is Myers' artwork. The message is wonderful too, but not remarkable. The artwork is remarkable. It gives the book hope and energy and positive feelings. Definitely worth looking at and sharing ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Sherrie rated it really liked it
An empowering book for any child struggling to find their voice or their place in this world. Misty Copeland, an African American soloist lends her voice to this book that is beautifully illustrated by Christopher Myers. The young dancer in the book feels that she will never soar as high or leap as far as her dance idol. Misty explains that everyone has to start somewhere and with hard work, dedication and talent she can reach the stars. Loved this book, a great choice for Black History Month.
Jun 16, 2015 robyn rated it liked it
disappointing. misty copeland has such a wonderful, inspiring story to tell, but i just didn't feel this particular book did it justice, nor was i inspired by the illustrations for usually dependable christopher myers. i love her story, i love the "want" to be inspirational, but, to me, the book didn't communicate that. her note to the reader at the end was wonderful, too bad the book wasn't as wonderful as her note.
Oct 26, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
Inspiring story spoken from Copeland's heart straight to young readers with dreams. Myer's illustrations are both fluidly graceful and packed with energy - perfect for the subject. Of special note is the author's note where Copeland talks about her start and the importance of seeing yourself in books.
Jillian Heise
This is a special book. A strong mentor. A sparse lyrical story of hope, empowerment, & finding confidence. The beauty of movement and language. Misty Copeland creates inspiration. Paired with Christopher Myers' eye-catching illustrations creating a three dimensional background effect and the feeling of movement. This story moved me.
Mr. Lawless
Jul 19, 2016 Mr. Lawless rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Oh my goodness, beautiful illustrations from Christopher Myers and an incredible lesson in perseverance. Applicable to all kids who have a dream but who are afraid to follow it. Definitely a beginning of the year read for our virtue of Perseverance.
I learned about this book in Misty's documentary, A Ballerina's Tale. So glad to discover it, I can recommend to young ballerinas!
Kayla Hollis
Jun 05, 2016 Kayla Hollis rated it really liked it
Paired my reading of this with the audiobook of Misty's memoir. This is a book of encouragement for young dancers, particularly those of color, and it's lovely, especially with Myers' illustrations.
Misty Copeland is fantastic, Firebird is fantastic, the art in this is lovely, but the whole thing together kinda fell down for me. It's hard to draw about ballet, I guess?
Apr 02, 2016 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ballet and inspirational story requests
Recommended to June by: Joan
Beautifully, illustrated story of a dream that can come true with hard work and dedication. Powerful reader's note by the author.
Laura Molinario
Apr 11, 2015 Laura Molinario rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the simplicity of the verse and the illustrations. Great book to inspire young people to follow their dreams!
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
incredible illustrations!
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