Illustrated by Christopher Myers, Written by Misty Copeland

Publisher’s Summary:
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl — 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.

Primary Source Pairing:
Misty Copeland’s message of perseverance and determination is one in which any reader can find motivation. In the Author’s Note, Misty writes of her mentor Raven Wilkinson who was an African American ballerina with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an image of Raven Wilkinson (taken in 1955) and an image of author Misty Copeland (taken in 2017) and find similarities between the two ballerinas.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • What similarities do you see between the two ballerinas?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Raven Wilkinson Image:
Misty Copeland Image:

Additional Resources:
Misty Copeland’s website:
Misty Copeland Performs ‘The Miss Turnstiles Ballet’ from ON THE TOWN: