Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure

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Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Your aspiring prima ballerina will love this book, but even if they've no interest in dance at all it's still a cracking good story. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: December 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008164539

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Maddy, Caitlyn, Roz and Alex have all just been tested to go to the prestigious City Ballet School full time. Caitlyn, Roz and Alex all get their acceptance about a week later, but Maddy's is a little slower in coming. It was obviously delayed in the post. She was never actually worried that she wouldn't be accepted: well, she's an exceptional dancer and her family is ballet royalty. Where else would she be but City Ballet School? Caitlyn still can't quite believe the opportunity she's been given, particularly as she's not been dancing anywhere near as long as the others. It means so much to her.

You'll begin by loving Maddy. She's warm, friendly, open-hearted and more than willing to help anyone. Well, anyone she likes. But you'll gradually realise that there's a sense of entitlement there which grates. Her mother was a famous ballerina, her father travels the world putting on ballets, her elder sister was a ballerina before she left to have a baby (much to her mother's disgust) and her brother is Sean O'Brien. Now he really is something in the world of ballet. So Maddy thinks that she'll have it made. She doesn't exactly shirk the necessary work, but there are quite a few people questioning her commitment.

Then you begin to realise that she's a bit manipulative and she thinks nothing of interfering in other people's lives, including her brother's relationship with his boyfriend. Even when people try and steer her away from doing something, or tell her that it's unlikely to succeed or could have dreadful consequences, Maddy still thinks that she knows best. Now, you're probably wondering if Maddy is going to turn into something of a caricature, but this is a Jean Ure book - you're in safe hands. She paints the perfect picture of a thirteen-year old who is just a bit too complacent - and who is about to get a very loud wake-up call.

It's a cracking good story too. I'm many times the target age group, but that really doesn't matter: good writing is good writing no matter who it's written for. It helps that Ure doesn't patronise her readers: Maddy's brother is in a gay relationship. It's no big deal: it's just a fact. No one's worried or excited about it. I liked too that there are no obvious villains in the plot: there's no one deliberately trying to do Maddy down. There are people she gets on with better than others, but as you read you realise that she's the author of her own problems - and she's the one who'll be able to sort them out.

If you've got a budding prima ballerina she will love this book as there's a real insight into the world of ballet. Some children who simply like the idea of dance might realise that there's a lot more work and a lot less glamour involved than they first thought: the story could prove to be a useful reality check.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. I'd also like to thank them for publishing a book about ballet for tween-age girls which doesn't have a sugary-pink cover with added glitter.

Star Quality is actually the second part of a trilogy. The first part is Born to Dance. Both books read perfectly well as standalones, but you'll get more out of them if you read them in order. We also have a review of book three.

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Buy Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Star Quality (Dance Trilogy 2) by Jean Ure at


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