'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 25 January 2020

Review: The Competition

The Competition is an enjoyable junior fiction novel about dancing, friendship and chasing dreams. The story focuses on a girl who is competing with the DanceStarz Squad at her very first national dance competition.

The author is American teenager, dancer and actor, Maddie Ziegler, who has been in the public eye since she was 8 years old, when she appeared in the television program Dance Moms, and has since appeared in music videos, movies and many other programs.

The narrative is told in first person by the protagonist, Harper, whose seems around twelve or thirteen years old. The themes of the book revolve around dancing and friendship, two significant interests for many tweens and teens.

Harper, who has recently moved from one part of the USA to another, returns to her old neighbourhood when her team qualifies for the national dance competition in New York City. Amidst all the excitement of seeing the amazing venue, meeting dancers from across the country, and performing to their very best, Harper also has to navigate some tricky friendship issues.

Harper's new friends, in her DanceStarz Squad, are confused and upset when Harper runs over and hugs one of their main competitors. But Harper is only happy to see her old best friend, Eliza, and spends a day travelling back to her old studio, only to discover that things have moved on since she left there.

Harper realises that she has not always been as good a friend as she could have been, and resolves the conflicts with both her old and new friends, on the backdrop of both teams and individual dancers all achieving different successes.

Other books in this series include The Audition and The Callback.

Title: The Competition
Author: Maddie Ziegler (with Julia De Villers)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books, $16.99
Publication Date: 21 October 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781460753798
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction