Find it at your library!

You should totally read this book by Misty Copeland, a barrier-shattering African American classical ballerina, but even more than that, you should type her name into YouTube and see for yourself what she can do. Because she is ridiculously, insanely talented, and there's no way to fully comprehend the magnitude of it unless you see it with your own eyes.

And OH MY GOSH it has not been an easy climb to the top. Breaking into the lily-white world of professional ballet has been a struggle since Copeland first donned a pair of pointe shoes at the Boys and Girls Club when she was 13. She's been asked all the insensitive questions you can imagine. She's been passed up for roles. She's been told to lose weight, to powder her face so she appears lighter-complected onstage. She's been encouraged to pursue modern dance because she doesn't fit the mold for classical ballet.

And she's now a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world. You can see why the slogan for her Under Armour ad campaign is “I will what I want,” no?

Also, if you're interested: there's a great documentary about Copeland (A Ballerina's Tale, available on Netflix) that overlaps somewhat with the book but also covers a lot that the book doesn't. Plus, of course, it includes plenty of footage of her dancing.