Jacqueline Wilson is pretty much a living legend in Missy HQ.
It’s hard to put into context just how iconic Jacqueline’s books were when I was growing up. It was a near-constant fight to be the first one to get her books off the shelves in the school library. I remember Vicky Angel being impossible to get my hands on. I think Jacqueline’s books were probably where I discovered my love of reading.
Jacqueline Wilson’s books were always very funny and thought-provoking. And looking back on them now they were definitely way ahead of their time.
Jacqueline has just released her newest book “Dancing The Charleston“. So, I thought it would be fun to revisit my early teen years and share some of my favourite Jacqueline Wilson books.
One of the first books that comes to mind when I think of Jacqueline Wilson is Vicky Angel. It tells the story of timid Jade, who is struggling to cope after her best friend Vicky dies after being hit by a car. Vicky reappears as a ghost and begins to follow Jade around and tries to control what she does and who she sees. It covers friendship, influence, being into your own person and letting go of guilt.
Tracy Beaker is probably Jacqueline Wilson’s best known characters. The fun and colourful cover of the books is really deceptive, because Tracy’s story is quite sad. Tracy’s only solace is letting her imagination run wild about what her life could be after she is left in a children’s home as a child that is referred to as “The Dumping Ground“. This was also made into a TV series and a follow-up book My Mum, Tracy Beaker was released last year.
The Illustrated Mum brilliantly outlined what it’s like to live with alcoholism and mental illness, and put it at the forefront of your teenage mind without you even realising. Outsider Dolphin and her popular sister Star adore their mum Marigold, but her mental breakdown eventually leads to the girls going in separate directions.
This nostalgic trip down memory-lane came about when a copy of Jacqueline’s newest book, Dancing The Charlestown, arrived in Missy HQ a few weeks ago. It’s a perfect read for any fans of historical fiction. 10 year-old Mona lives with her aunt and though she never knew her mother and father, she knows Aunty tries to give her the best life she can. When Lady Somerset dies and a new member of the family inherits the house, life changes drastically for Mona. Suddenly she’s invited to dazzling balls, dines on delicious food and plays with wild new friends. But with these changes come secrets that Mona can’t dance away from…
The Girls In Love series should be required reading once you hit the age of 13. The book series was later turned into a TV series, which I lived for at the time. Girls In Love is just one of those series that’s great to read when you’re going through the motions of being a teen. The series deals with first love, friendships, eating disorders, consent and lots of other issues. It just hit the nail on the head when summing up teen life.
It has been a while since I read most of these books, but with the exception of Girls In Love, I would think that they would fit well with readers aged 10 to 14 years old. Girls In Love is ideal for 13-17 year olds. I really wish that I could read them for the first time again!
Have you read any Jacqueline Wilson books before?