I spent hours curled in bed or legs swung over the arm of a living room easy chair, devouring her stories, oblivious to anything or anyone around me. Her latest releases were top of my Christmas and birthday lists.
Her books inspired me and opened my eyes. Her characters transported me to worlds I had never known. She was the first author who gave me cause to wonder and dream that one day, perhaps I could write a book, too.
Now in her 70s, Jacqueline is as busy as ever. She pens a book a year, and to date has published over 100 titles. Her books continue to be illustrated by her great friend Nick Sharratt, a creative partnership that has become as iconic as the stories themselves.
I took a look back at my favourite Jacqueline Wilson books, old and new.
Jacqueline Wilson’s latest release is, in my opinion, one of her very best books. 13-year-old Frankie has fallen in love for the first time with her classmate, Sally. But does Sally feel the same? A powerful and important love story, this book explores coming of age and coming out. I hope it will give girls everywhere the courage and freedom to follow their hearts.
The Story Of Tracy Beaker
From a new venture to an old favourite. Many of us will have fond memories of Tracy, the wild ten year old and self-proclaimed ‘star of the Dumping Ground’, the children’s home where she lives. As Tracy herself says in the book, "it's the most incredible dynamic heart-rending story. Honest" – we couldn’t agree more. And if you want to know what happens next, try My Mum Tracy Beaker – written from the point of view of Tracy’s daughter, Jess.
The Cat Mummy
Admittedly, a young girl mummifying her dead cat is a somewhat unusual premise for a novel. And yet, this endearing book tackles the important topics of love and loss in an accessible and unique way.
Girls In Love
The first in Jacqueline Wilson’s acclaimed ‘Girls’ series for slightly older readers, Girls In Love introduces best friends Ellie, Nadine and Magda, who in this book have just started in year nine and have a lot on their minds – mainly boys. The series explores everything from love, to periods, to body image in an accessible, realistic and timeless way.
Jayni, her brother Kenny, and their mother run away from her abusive father after he punches Jayni, changing their names and taking on new identities in London with a small fortune they won on a scratchcard. However, when Jayni (now Lola Rose)'s mother is diagnosed with cancer, their luck starts running out. Packed with pace, character and heart, the power of this book has stayed with me for many years.
When school friends Amy, Bella, Chloe, Daisy and Emily approach their birthdays, they all decide to have sleepovers. But Daisy, the newest member of the group, is worried. On the one hand, she's desperate to fit in with her new friends - but on the other, hosting a sleepover will mean they will meet her rather special older sister.... A charming tale of siblings and friendship.
Whilst very different to the Jacqueline Wilson books I grew up with, Hetty Feather is a beautiful story of a little girl left at London’s Foundling Hospital in 1876. Wilson’s foray into historical fiction proved a huge success, and saw Hetty Feather turned into a popular CBBC series as well as an acclaimed stage play.
The Illustrated Mum
Another all-time favourite of mine, this Wilson classic is an optimistic, heart breaking tale about family, mental health and the power of sisterly love. I still remember protagonist, Dolphin and her sister, Star with fondness, as well as their vibrant, troubled mother, Marigold. This book holds timeless relevance – an emotional rollercoaster with the most beautifully drawn characters.
Featuring one of Nick Sharratt's most iconic cover images, Cliffhanger follows Tim, a boy on an adventure holiday, which is sure to be full of adventure. Not that he's looking forward to it - he hates sport of any kind. But Tim is in for several surprises...
The Suitcase Kid
No Jacqueline Wilson list would be complete without mention of The Suitcase Kid, the brilliant portrayal of divorce from a child’s point of view. Caught between her warring parents and their new lives, Andy hatches a plan to bring them back together – with the help of her Sylvanian family rabbit, Radish, of course.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like