My love for reading started when I was in primary school, with most books I read being written by Jacqueline Wilson, my favourites including The Story of Tracy Beaker and The Bed and Breakfast Star. As a child, many of my favourites stories saw the main child protagonist in unrealistic settings such as the boy who goes to a magical school, or siblings who travel through a magical wardrobe. Wilson’s books always stood out to me as they were about ordinary kids dealing with real-life problems.
Her books are noteworthy and impactful, as they feature a wide range of controversial topics and themes such as adoption, divorce, domestic violence, poverty, mental illness and foster care. Her books are funny page-turners that allow her young readers to explore difficult and sad subjects in a safe way, and even though her books did not always have a happy ending, an underlying theme in all her stories is hope. I had a very stable home life growing up, so my childhood could not have been more different to the characters in Jacqueline Wilson’s books. Wilson combined everyday issues children face with more serious issues such as life and death so I could see myself in her characters even though I did not always face the same difficulties, although children who struggle with the issues depicted found relatable characters and saw themselves represented.
Jacqueline Wilson has written over a hundred books in the last four decades and has impacted generations of young people and continues to do so. Discussing love, loss and the harder side of family life in children’s literature is never easy, but my love for reading and my understanding of others was enriched after reading her books.
Girl Museum Inc.