Saturday, November 03, 2018

The Callback (Maddie Ziegler Triology #2)

Ziegler, Maddie. The Callback (Maddie Ziegler Triology #2)
October 30th 2018 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Harper is settling into her new life in Florida after The Audition and is finding a way to work with a new group at dance. She has made a good friend in Lily, but Riley continues to be pointlessly mean. Each girl in the group is being considered for a solo and has to do one-on-one lessons to prepare, and of course, Riley thinks she should get it. At the same time, Harper gets involved with a school production of The Little Mermaid, and has a dance there. She works with some of her classmates on their routines, and enjoys that, but is struggling with her solo. She is also trying to spend more time with her younger sister Hailey, and keep up with her school work. This is not an easy task when you're at the dance studio every night! In the end, Harper realizes that she is not putting as much emotion into her dancing because she is trying to be technically perfect.
Strengths: Julia Devillers' writing is strong, and "drama" is certainly something I get asked for a lot. Students don't necessarily want death and destruction, they want the mean girls, the friend drama, the light romance. This fits the bill, all while wearing sparkly leotards and tulle.
Weaknesses: Ziegler appeared on a show, Dance Moms, until 2016, so I don't know how long she will remain a popular figure. Even without her celebrity, however, there is a decided lack of middle grade fiction dealing with dance, so this will be useful.
What I really think: Even though I did tap, ballet and jazz in my misspent youth (the last class I took was in sixth grade, when I was traumatized by the one shouldered leotard with glitter fringe!), I just don't get intensive dance. I know so many girls who spend their middle and high school years doing practically nothing else, then never danced again once they got to college. This made it hard for me to get invested in the book.

Ms. Yingling

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