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A Princess Found


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About the Author

SARAH CULBERSON grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia. She attended West Virginia University, where she earned a B.A. in Theatre. She graduated from The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco with a Masters in Fine Arts and joined the Los Angeles acting community. Sarah has been seen acting on the stage as well as in TV and films. She has also danced with a professional salsa dance company called Conta-Tiempo. As President of the Kposowa Foundation in Los Angeles, she and many others head up fundraising with the goal of improving education for young people and rebuilding Sierra Leone. She lives in Los Angeles. TRACY TRIVAS, a graduate of Dartmouth College, won a Dartmouth Graduate Fellowship to study Victorian Literature at Oxford University, England. She received her Masters Degree in English from Middlebury College. She is also the author of the middle-grade fiction book, The Wish Stealers. She lives in California with her family.


Adult/High School-Popular with her classmates and loved by her adoptive family, African-American Sarah Culberson has never truly felt that she belonged. After graduating from high school and moving away for college, she began to seek the truth about her biological parents. She eventually hired a private investigator and learned that while her mother was a white woman, now deceased, her father is African royalty-the chief of a Mende tribe. She eventually traveled to Sierra Leone and saw firsthand both the poverty and the beauty that exist in the war-torn nation. Interspersed with Culberson's story are chapters chronicling her father's life in a village ravaged by rebels. She describes his years as a refugee in a crowded and unsanitary city and the return and rebuilding of his home and school. This eloquently written memoir covers the isolation an African-American child can feel in a predominantly white environment; the technical aspects and emotional turmoil of a search for biological parents; and the contrast between American wealth and African poverty. The author realizes the high expectations placed on her by her father's tribe, not only because she is an American, but also because she is their princess. Teens will relate to her search for a balance between her ancestry and familial obligations and her life in the United States. The narrative style keeps the memoir moving forward yet the historical and cultural information it imparts is as significant as its entertainment value.-Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A mannered account of a biracial woman raised by a white family in West Virginia who was reunited joyfully with her African family . . . The juxtaposition of the two narratives is deliberately jarring. While Culberson was being crowned Homecoming Queen, her family and other Mende people faced ambush, amputations--a favorite terror tactic of the rebels--and homelessness. As a girl growing up, Culberson was accused by other blacks of not being 'black enough' . . . Culberson's wrenching coming-of-age tale ably chronicles her love and acceptance by both of her families . . . Inspiring." --Kirkus Reviews

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