Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jacqueline Wilson

Since Wilson's books that are available in the US are so popular in my library, I picked upa number of them in Ireland. Warning: do not read a lot of these books in quick sucession. They do tend to get a bit same-y after awhile.

Cookie. Well-to-do, stressed, abusive father. Ineffectual, pretty, passive mother. Frumpy, unhappy daughter. When father's tirades become too much, mother and daughter set off for sea side where they experience better treatment and decide to stay. May be coming out this fall in US.

Lola Rose. Ne'er do well, abusive father. Ineffectual, pretty, foolish mother. Frumpy, unhappy daughter. Mother wins big in the lotto, father's tirade causes the rest of the family to run off to London. They buy themselves lots of treats, use up the lotto money. Mother gets nicer boyfriend but then develops breast cancer. Daughter tries to care for younger brother, but deus ex machina savior show up in form of supportive aunt.

Dustbin Baby. 14-year-old girl who has fight with adoptive mother on her birthday retraces the steps that her life has taken since she was abandoned in a dumpster as an infant. After visiting foster mother and trying to find her birth mother, she connects with someone from her past who helps her to realize that her life has turned out okay.

I did start to feel that the mothers needed to have some sense-- whenever they got money, they bought sweets and clothes and didn't plan ahead at all. Also, most of them had no career skills, and managed to survive through luck and the help of others. I don't think this is a very empowering message for young girls who might be in similar situations.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean
they are good books but can get a bit.....ugh! If you read them all at once there all about unhappy families and horrid fathers... Her books should be a bit lighter especially for younger kids.
And most of her books are aimed at girls.
They can get you interested but maybe she should target other problems apart from family life.

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