Tracy Beakers returns: The Jacqueline Wilson books to read before the new series airs

<p>With multi-dimensional characters in often difficult situations, these novels are stalwarts of young-adult literature</p> (BBC/The Independent)

With multi-dimensional characters in often difficult situations, these novels are stalwarts of young-adult literature

(BBC/The Independent)

With the third national lockdown continuing to spread doom and gloom, some light nostalgia is bound to bring a touch of cheer.

Thankfully, the BBC has answered our prayers with news that Tracy Beaker is going to be returning to our screens, alongside some of our all-time favourite characters.

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Undoubtedly millennials will remember the BBC's television show, which was adapted from Jacqueline Wilson's 1991 book The Story of Tracy Beaker and focused on the protagonist's life at Elm Tree House for children – better known as The Dumping Ground.

From Elaine the Pain and Duke, to feuds with Justine Littlewood, it was a signature show for anyone who grew up in the Noughties, with Tracy's feisty and fearless behaviour inspiring a nation of tweens.

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Fans of the show have now gone wild after CBBC shared a 30-second video of the upcoming series titled My Mum Tracy Beaker, a three-part programme starting on Friday 12 February and then airing on consecutive days.

The teaser shows Beaker, played by Dani Harmer, reuniting with her arch-nemesis Justine, played by Montanna Thompson, and despite it being billed as a children's show, we can't wait to watch it and relive our childhoods.

CBBC's reboot is an adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's book of the same name, and will follow Beaker as a single mother raising her daughter Jess. Told from the perspective of her 10-year-old, you can expect the drama we've come to know and love from our favourite character.

In honour of the new season, we've brought together some of Jacqueline Wilson's best novels from over the years, because if you were anything like us, you were obsessed.

From The Illustrated Mum to Best Friends, Wilson's storytelling provides multi-dimensional characters and thought-provoking discussions on important issues. But, best of all, she brought us Beaker.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

First published in 1991, exactly 30 years ago, The Story of Tracy Beaker is what brought this then relatively unknown author to the masses. A fictional, autobiographical account of a young girl named Tracy Beaker, who lives in a care home she calls The Dumping Ground, the book follows her life there and her relationship with her foster mum, Cam. Best remembered for dealing with serious issues such as parental neglect, Wilson's careful approach to the emotional and unsettling realities that some children go through is admirable. With the signature illustrations by Nick Sharratt, this title is instantly recognisable, and certainly one to add to your collection – if it doesn't still have pride of place on your bookshelf, of course.

Buy now £5.79, Amazon

‘My Mum Tracy Beaker’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

We've got this novel to thank for bringing Beaker back. My Mum Tracy Beaker is told from the perspective of her daughter Jess, and outlines Tracy's life as a struggling single parent. Touching on issues such as tackling change, growing up, and mother-daughter relationships, it's filled with the inevitable ups and downs you'd expect from your much-loved old friend, Beaker.

Buy now £6.99, Waterstones

‘The Illustrated Mum’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

One of Wilson’s darker novels suited to older children (aged 10 and above), The Illustrated Mum tells the story of two young girls, Star and Dolphin, as they cope with their mother’s manic depression. While Dolphin idolises her tattoo-covered mum Marigold, Star is less pleased with her behaviour. Deeply moving, this story encourages you to think about the good and bad aspects of family life.

Buy now £6.50, Bookshop

‘Best Friends’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

As the title suggests, this tells the story of two best friends, Gemma and Alice, who share the same birthday. When Alice moves away, Gemma is left feeling distraught at the thought that her best friend might find someone else. Best Friends depicts how children deal with the sadness they experience when they lose someone close to them.

Buy now £6.50, Bookshop

‘Double Act’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

This book is written from the perspective of two identical twins, Ruby and Garnet, whose mother died when they were seven-years-old. It tells the story of their father meeting a woman, Rose, who becomes their stepmother, and how the lives of Ruby and Garnet change as they become teenagers.

Buy now £6.99, Waterstones

‘Vicky Angel’ by Jacqueline Wilson, published by Yearling Books

Another Jacqueline Wilson classic, Vicky Angel tells the tale of best friends Jade and Vicky. The former is quiet and shy, while the latter is outgoing and confident. When Vicky is killed in a tragic car accident, the story documents Jade’s indescribable grief and guilt. By dealing with big themes, Wilson works to help young readers grapple with these issues.

Buy now, Bookshop

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