Many ardent readers may recall the name Jacqueline Wilson from their youth. Wilson is among the most well-known British children’s writers of our age, having authored over 100 novels. In league with other contemporary writers like Anthony Horowitz and David Walliams, Jacqueline Wilson has worked her magic into the world of children’s literature.
Wilson has entertained and inspired children and adults for almost three decades with a unique painting style and unforgettable tales. Her tales typically involve children from low-income homes and tackle real-life problems such as divorce, abuse, bullying, and melancholy. Therefore, Podium School would love to introduce our readers to the best Jacqueline Wilson books to read and enjoy.
Best Works by Jacqueline Wilson
Bad Girls (1996)
Mandy, a ten-year-old is the protagonist of Bad Girls. Kim often torments her at school. Mandy encounters a fresh neighbor Tanya, an adopted elder kid with whom she makes fast friends.
Children bully Mandy because of her plaited hair and spectacles. Her newfound relationship with the older and “cooler” Tanya offers her a new optimism to deal with the world. They then vow to be best buddies. On the other hand, Tanya is fighting her own problems, which threaten to get Mandy into difficulties.
Children often love Wilson’s take on bullying and acceptance. Mandy is a quiet and charming girl with well-written timidity. Tanya also appears in another of Wilson’s novels, Dustbin Baby, as a cameo.
THE BED AND BREAKFAST STAR (1994)
The Bed and Breakfast Star follows Elsa, whose family is forced to relocate to a run-down hotel after losing their house due to debt. Elsa’s stepfather, Mack, is harsh with her, slapping her often when she is misbehaving, but adores her half-siblings, Pippa and Hank.
Elsa’s personality shines through in this book and entertains thoroughly. This spunky girl has a funny bone in her body while she becomes the eponymous star mentioned in the book. A strong voice among the cowardly, Elsa is a heroic little protagonist who cares for her siblings and fights with bullies like a pro.
The Lottie Project (1997)
In contrast to the previous two novels, Charlie in The Lottie Project is quite popular and well-liked. She despises Miss Beckworth, the newest substitute teacher. Miss Beckworth assigns Charlie a history assignment. She subsequently adapts to suit her circumstances, inventing the Victorian-era figure Lottie, who supports her family by working as a maid.
I liked this book since it includes a chapter about Charlie and another about Lottie. They have similar elements in their tales. We get the impression that we’re viewing the universe through Charlie’s eyes and tracking her narrative. It’s one of those novels by Jacqueline Wilson that linger in your mind even after you’ve completed it.
This novel, set in 1953, the same year Princess Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen of England, is incredibly lovely. Elsie, our main heroine, lives with her grandmother and, like the rest of the country, plans a trip to London to celebrate the coronation.
Matters begin to seem grim when Elsie and her Nan are both afflicted with tuberculosis and sent to the hospital, where they must undergo months of bed rest. Elsie, fortunately, finds a talent for amusing the other kids on her wing, and it is there that she meets a particular royal companion.
The Suitcase Kid (1992)
Prepare for another Jacqueline Wilson classic! The Suitcase Kid is a film about a child’s struggle to deal with a traumatic divorce. Andy, the primary character, sleeps out of a suitcase, bouncing between two homes and never feeling like she belongs. She wants to return to Mulberry Cottage, her childhood home.
Wave Me Goodbye (2017)
Wave Me Goodbye, a modern historical drama by Jacqueline Wilson, recounts Shirley, a ten-year-old girl who is taken away to the countryside at the start of World War II.
Her lifestyle transforms as she goes to a weird, half-empty red home with other youngsters in the same position, without understanding where she is going or what will happen.
World War II has always piqued the attention of all generations. And this novel, with Jacqueline Wilson’s talent for developing young characters coping with a variety of circumstances, stands out as one of her finest.
Two chapters each recount the tale of two female leads in Secrets. Treasure, a working-class girl, is sent to live with her grandmother. This is because her stepfather scares her by slapping her in the face with his belt. Meanwhile, India, the daughter of a famous fashion designer, felt like an outsider due to her enormous weight and self-described strangeness.
When Treasure’s stepfather grows more violent, the girls form an unusual bond and vow to help keep her safe from him. When I was a bit older, I revisited this novel and realized how terrifying Treasure’s position was. She had previously visited the hospital for the scar, yet she faked saving her stepfather for her mother.
Treasure feels that she can’t get away from her violent family because her parents threaten to take her away from her grandmother’s home. It’s a tale that has remained with me for a long time, and I believe it’s one of Wilson’s finest.
The Story of Tracy Beaker(1991)
Tracy Beaker is a character you must meet in a classic JW tale developed into a popular series. She resides in a children’s home and wishes to be adopted by a lovely family after seeing an ad for a foster kid in the local newspaper. Tracy is spunky and daring but also sensitive, and it’s a pleasure to follow her through the series.
The Illustrated Mum (1999)
Dolphin resides in a modest apartment with her sister, Star, and mother, Marigold. She doesn’t completely get it, but she and her sister look after each other when their tattooed mother goes on drunken binges, drags random men home, and fails to look after them.
She tries to cope with everything shifting about her in her previously shattered life as Star grows up and becomes angry with Marigold. The Illustrated Mum is great as it focuses on personal wellbeing. It also depicts the viewpoint of a ten-year-old growing up with a parent who suffers from manic depression but still loves her.
I found myself following Dolphin’s trip over and over again, understanding the tale and the significance of Marigold’s strange behavior a bit more as I grew older.
Lola Rose (2003)
Lola Rose is an all-time favorite Wilson tale. After her violent father hits her brother Jayni, Kenny and their mother flee to London, where they change their names and assume fake monikers thanks to a bit of money they won on a scratch card. When Jayni (now Lola’s mother) is stricken with cancer, their good fortune runs out.
This tragic tale enthralls the readers with its turmoil and depiction of emotional sensitivity. It frequently appears that little Lola Rose was the one caring for the others. A delightful and riveting tale, Lola Rose remains one of the best by Wilson.
Jacqueline Wilson is a prominent children’s novelist in the United Kingdom. Jackie is a former children’s laureate and a childhood favorite for many generations of children, having written over 100 books. She’s a true national treasure, and her novels are fantastic for kids.