Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure

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Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A delightful story that pre-teen girls are going to love. You'll really feel that you're in the midst of a ballet family, but it's still a good tale even if you've no interest in dance at all.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008164522

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Maddy O'Brien is just eleven years old and her life revolves around ballet dancing. It's not surprising really: her father is a leading choreographer, her mother was a ballerina but now runs her own ballet school, her brother, Sean, has just been promoted to soloist and her sister Jen might be having a baby but she was in the business too. Maddy's enthusiasm for ballet isn't the usual passing interest which many young girls have - she's longing to be off to ballet school full time. In the meantime she and a couple of her friends are looking over the new arrivals at their school and Maddy is convinced that one of them is a ballet dancer. Only Caitlyn is adamant that she's not and quite definite that she doesn't go to classes.

It would have been easy for Maddy to leave it at that, but it's not in her nature and one morning she finds Caitlyn practicing ballet steps in secret and it's obvious that there's more to Caitlyn's story than has been told - and Maddy is determined to find out what it is. Unusually for her, she's actually quite patient. It's not easy: she comes from a family where's there's bags of confidence around and the three children have grown up knowing that opportunities are there to be grabbed and taken advantage of. There's no room for shy bairns here! It's really hard work for Maddy not to step in and push for Caitlyn to get what Maddy believes that she needs - even though Caitlyn doesn't want her mother to be worried about ballet lessons which Caitlyn knows she can't afford.

Maddy might be a bit of a bully - well she can be a real bully on occasions - but it's all done with the best of intentions. There are times when you'd love her to be quiet and let Caitlyn be, but you warm to her because you have to admit that Maddy's home life isn't all that it might be. Her father's hardly ever there and whilst her mother might be physically present, there's often no knowing where her mind's dashed off to. Getting her attention is difficult.

That's the glory of Jean Ure's books. She writes for girls who're coming to the stage of realising that situations are not always quite as they appear on the surface, that there are grey areas in relationships. Although I guessed what Maddy might do, I wasn't sure how she would pull it off - and if it would work. If I let you into a secret will you promise not to tell anyone? I love reading Ure's books and I'm many multiples of the age of the target audience but good writing is good writing and these books are always a pleasure to read. I can't resist them!

We also have a review of the sequel.

For another show-business- themed story from Ure we can recommend Star Crazy Me but then we reckon that all her books are a pleasure to read.

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Buy Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Born to Dance (Dance Trilogy 1) by Jean Ure at


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