Laura's Summer Ballet (by Linda Blake)

Why do children's books make such compulsive reading, I wonder?! After finishing 'Ballet for Laura' I thought I'd read the sequel, also of course by Linda Blake. It's the story of what happens when the Marina Ballet School moves temporarily to Dorset, to get away from the heat of London and the noise of building work. Laura and her friends prepare for their end-of-year exams, including creating a short ballet as their free dancing.

There's also the mystery of Doreen, a new girl who dances well but seems not to care much about anything. She doesn't want to be friendly, and hates the thought of going to Dorset even though she comes from the country. And there's the ongoing enmity between Connie, a rich and arrogant senior, and Scott, a rather misunderstood young man who's also a senior, but is good friends with Laura and her set.

Not really very thrilling as plots go, although there are a few exciting moments, and the characterisation isn't brilliant, though it's not bad. But it's well-written, it moves at a good pace, and for some reason it's quite a page-turner. Only 120 pages which is just as well, since at 10.30pm last night when I thought I was reading a chapter before going to bed, I found I could scarcely put it down until I'd finished.

Out of print for many years, but can often be found second-hand, from the UK or US Amazon sites (links included) or Abebooks UK.

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