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Jean Ure was born in Surrey, and when growing up, knew that she was going to be a writer but she also wanted to be a ballet dancer.
She wrote her first novel when she was six years old which was about a little girl called Carol. Jean spent her teenage years writing and had her first book published when she was just sixteen – an event that prompted her to leave school the following year to continue writing. However she spent the next several years ‘scrubbing floors, waiting at tables, selling groceries’. Jean also worked as a nurse and at the BBC before enrolling at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she met her husband. She worked for several years in Paris as a translator for DATO and UNESCO and wrote romantic novels. Jean Ure is a well-known, respected and high-profile author whose numerous other titles, which include Love And Kisses, Star Crazy Me and, most recently, Jelly Baby, have received critical acclaim.
Jean is a vegan and animal lover. She lives with her husband, seven dogs and two cats in a 300 year old house in Croydon.
Jean Ure understands exactly what makes ballet such an all-consuming passion for young dancers and conveys that excitement perfectly in Born to Dance, the first in a new series. Maddy is born into ballet royalty – her mother was a famous ballerina, her father’s a top choreographer, even her brother and sister are rising stars. Though she’s occasionally frustrated by her family’s single-minded dedication, she loves to dance too. At school she picks out new girl Caitlyn as a fellow ballerina, and is surprised when Caitlyn doesn’t want to be friends, then mystified when she sees her dancing – whoever is teaching her is getting some things very wrong. The two do become friends though, and when Maddy discovers how Caitlyn is learning to dance, she’s determined to help. Maddy is a warm, thoroughly engaging central character, with just a touch of the Emma Woodhouse about her, and the ballet scenes will leave readers itching to stand at the barre. One to recommend to fans of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes. Jonathan’s Leap by Celia Purcell is another strong contemporary ballet story with a boy in the ballet shoes.
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8+ This new story from Jean Ure, though seemingly simple and straightforward, is typically full of insight into children’s friendships and lives. Like lots of children, Lily longs for a dog but now that she and her mum are living in a fifth floor flat it’s just not possible. Lily can’t accept this, blames her mum (they used to live with her gran until her mum had a falling out with her) and generally behaves in a very stroppy way. A meeting with an old lady and her dog in the park changes things, and Lily’s new friendship helps her cope with her anger, and gives her space to calm down. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
Jean Ure brilliantly captures the complex emotions that bind sisters together - and can tear them apart - in this touching and poignant story about the complexities of growing up. Ruby is the oldest of three sisters, and the most responsible. Sometimes those responsibilities seem just too much for her shoulders alone especially when mum, who is bipolar, is not able to cope.
Jean Ure is excellent at getting in under the skin of the lives of teenagers and the issues they must deal with as they grow up. Here, the love, hate relationship of mother and daughter are brought into sharp focus, which in turn leads to the daughter and a friend running away to London. Excitement initially at the adventure but then things don’t quite go as they imagined and the girls realize that perhaps there is more to home life than meets the eye.