Good Books for Tough Times by Jacqueline Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cliffhanger and Buried Alive

(published together as Jacqueline Wilson's Biscuit Barrel)

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrators Nick Sharratt and Sue Heap
Reading age 7+
Interest level 7-11


Review
This edition brings together two of Jacqueline Wilson's funniest stories for younger children. ‘Cliffhanger' sees Tim and his friend Biscuits reluctantly going on an adventure holiday, where Tim loathes the activities and feels he is failing at everything, but despite this ends up finding friendship and fun.

In ‘Buried Alive', Tim and Biscuits go on holiday with Tim's parents to Wales, where all goes well until the arrival of two bullies, Prickle-Head and Pinch-Face. The story uses gentle humour to deal with issues of friendship and bullying (as well as embarrassing parents).

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2002
Price £6.99
ISBN 9780440864639

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Bad Girls

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrator Nick Sharratt
Reading age 8+
Interest level 7-11


Review
Bitterly unhappy and fed up with being bullied at school, Mandy White is in need of a friend.

However, with her spiky orange hair, strappy stilettos and tendency to shoplift, the colourful Tanya isn't exactly what Mandy's parents would have wished for.

Bad Girls effortlessly depicts the sort of insecurities and concerns to which many young readers will surely relate.

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2006
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780440867623

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The Suitcase Kid

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrator Nick Sharratt
Reading age 8+
Interest level 7-12


Review
Distraught at her parents' divorce, Andy cannot decide who she wants to live with. She spends one week at Mum's house, the next at Dad's, but never really feels that she belongs anywhere.

This difficult situation, which is worsened by animosity between Andy and her new stepfamilies, has no simple solution.

Approached with humour and understanding, this is a very readable tale of confusion, guilt and ultimately optimism, with which many children (and adults) will identify.

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2006
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780440867739

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The Cat Mummy

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrator Nick Sharratt
Reading age 8+
Interest level 7+


Review
Mabel the cat is very special. She used to belong to Verity's mother, who died when Verity was born. One day Mabel goes missing; Verity searches for her but discovers that the cat has curled up and died at the bottom of her wardrobe.

After she learns at school that the Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, she decides to mummify Mabel! However, Gran suspects that something is wrong, and Verity is very worried that she will not be able to keep her Cat Mummy secret for much longer.

A deceptively simple tale which explores the issue of bereavement for younger readers.

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2009
Price £4.99
ISBN 9780440868576

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Cookie

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Reading age 9-11
Interest level 9-11


Review
Beauty thinks her name is silly.  The girls at her posh school call her Ugly, and she and her mother live in constant fear of her irascible and violent father. 

When her lavish birthday party goes horribly wrong, Beauty and her mum leave home.  But where can they go?  And how will they cope on their own? 

Like so many of Jacqueline Wilson’s heroines, Beauty is immensely likeable, and younger girls will identify with her struggles and enjoy her quiet triumphs.

Publisher Corgi Children’s
Published 2009
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780552558310

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Hetty Feather

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Reading age 10-12
Interest level 10-12


Review
Hetty Feather is another of Jacqueline Wilson’s redoubtable and very appealing young heroines. 

Abandoned at birth in 1876, she is raised firstly by a family in the country, but is then returned to the harsh regime of the Foundling Hospital in London, to be prepared for life as a servant.  But Hetty, whose temperament is as fiery as her red hair, has other ideas. 

This is an engaging, uncompromising but ultimately heartwarming story of a young girl’s struggle to find her mother – and to find herself.

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2010
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780440868354

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The Illustrated Mum

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Reading age 11+
Interest level 11+


Review
This book has won many awards, including Children’s Book of the Year, and rightly so. 

It’s the story of Dolphin, her sister Star and their heavily tattooed single mum, Marigold, who seems at first to be merely unconventional but is gradually revealed to be manic depressive.  The two girls have to cope with their mother’s mental illness at the same time as coming to terms with the discoveries of their own fathers. 

This is a bold, perceptive and sometimes shocking story,
brought to a satisfying, unsentimental conclusion.

Publisher Corgi Yearling   
Published 2007
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780440867814

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Vicky Angel

Author Jacqueline Wilson
Reading age
9+
Interest level
9+


Review
This is a bold and imaginative story about a girl coming to terms with the death of her best friend, Vicky, who is hit by a car as they walk home from school. 

As Jade mourns and tries to move on, Vicky keeps appearing beside her – but is she a guardian angel or an unhelpful ghost? 

Many books tackle bereavement, but this one is particularly helpful for girls who have lost friends of their own age.

Publisher Corgi Yearling
Published 2007
Price £5.99
ISBN 9780440867807

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Jacqueline Wilson
Partnership for Children, 26-27 Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1JH, England
Telephone : 00 44 (0) 20 8974 6004 - Registered Charity number: 1089810