It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jacqueline Wilson is a staple within children's fiction. With a plethora of books to her name, I often think of her fondly, as someone who is just as much a part of childhoods these days as she was a part of mine. So when I heard that Tracy Beaker was returning in a brand new story, I couldn't wait to read it — and honestly, I was not disappointed.
Told from the point of view of Tracy's daughter, Jess, My Mum Tracy Beaker is a contemporary tale following the ups and downs of life with Tracy (fiercely independent, has slight anger management issues, just as Tracy Beaker-ish as ever Tracy) as your mum.
Tracy and Jess live in their small but perfectly homely flat, with their car boot sale trinkets, figurines, and bits and bobs that make a house a home. Jess loves their flat, but Tracy wants more for her, determined to give Jess everything that she didn't have growing up at the Dumping Ground.
So when Tracy's new boyfriend (the world famous ex-footballer Sean Godfrey, who seems to have everything) invites Tracy and Jess to live in his giant fancy house with him, Tracy jumps at the chance — but Jess is less keen, worrying that all the sparkle and fancy ways of Sean Godfrey will cause Tracy to lose her distinct Tracy-ness. Will Jess ever come to terms with a life including Sean Godfrey, or will Tracy realise that they have everything they could want already...
Whether you are familiar with Tracy's backstory or not, this has the perfect balance of familiar faces and a fresh new voice, touching on difficult topics with Jacqueline's trademark deft and sensitive handling. As always, Nick Sharratt's illustrations bring the words to life, and fans (of both the young and old variety) of Jacqueline's other books or Cath Howe's Ella on the Outside are sure to snap this one up.
Buy My Mum Tracy Beaker from the Alligator's Mouth webshop here