Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Story of Tracy Beaker

The Story of Tracy BeakerThe Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Content, Name Calling, Mild Violence, Hay Fever)

Why: Curiosity finally got the better of us (not for the first time...), forcing a full investigation into the mysterious entity known as Jacqueline Wilson.  While we’ve never heard of her books, she’s a BBC Big Read force to be reckoned with.  With 4 novels in the top 100 and 14 overall, her stats are second only to Charles Dickens and Terry Pratchett.  How have we not read one of her books?

Tracy Beaker is an orphan with a fiery personality and a steely sinew who never cries - thank you very much.  She may have the occasional bout with hay fever...  but she never cries!  Her life to this point has been tragic and Tracy’s greatest hope is that her mother will return to gloriously sweep her away forever.  In the meantime she struggles to find long term foster care and meaningful friendships.  Is there reason for hope?  You’ll have to read Tracy’s personal diary to find out.

We really enjoyed how The Story of Tracy Beaker was presented.  The beginning was written in the form of a diary that throws out random personal questions.  It was a very unique way to introduce a character.  The remainder of the novel was a first person account of Tracy’s life and truly the voice of a 10 year old girl trying to work through her tragic life by putting up a mask for the rest of the world to see.  Despite her quick temper and oft impenetrable shell, our heart was touched by young Tracy. Oh, and her fellow orphan Peter Ingham was about the sweetest kid ever.

The Story of Tracy Beaker was a quick read with a powerful theme. As far as edgy Children’s Books go, it’s top shelf! We’re anxious to try another one of Jacqueline Wilson’s novels.  Any recommendations?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my lord, Jacqueline Wilson was my absolute favourite author when I was younger! My favourite is probably The Illustrated Mum, which is about this kid whose mum has loads of tattoos and is probably bipolar- sounds depressing, which it sort of is, but it's also amazing! Girls in Love (etc) is also a good series- but honestly they're all great!