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Jacqueline Wilson Books

(15 Posts)
CharlieSays13 Sun 24-Nov-19 19:36:36

My 8 year old AD read Katy by Jacqueline Wilson recently and absolutely loved it, I'd hoped to steer her away from this author but she got it from the school library. She's asking for more for Christmas but I really don't think she could cope with Tracey Beaker yet (if ever). She's an avid reader and we do everything we can to encourage that. Also, she's put it on her letter to Santa 🙈 What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
sunshineandskyscrapers Sun 24-Nov-19 21:40:47

The school library will probably have other Jacqueline Wilson books so I think I'd take the opportunity to cherry pick the ones that you think she'd cope with and buy them for Christmas. I really like the Cat Mummy. Like Katy, it's another girl whose mother has died and she is struggling with this but a large part of the story is that after finding her cat dead she mumifies him trying to copy the techniques she has learnt in history at school. The end of the story is about how it's so important to talk through bereavement which is a good message. The other good thing about this book is it's quite short so you could read it first to make sure you're happy with it.

Of course you can steer her to other authors too in your choice of Christmas presents and hopefully she'll move off JW before she gets to the meatier ones. What about the original Katy books?

Strugglingmum73 Sun 24-Nov-19 23:32:35

The Butterfly club and Rent a bridesmaid are more gentle JW books. My girls loved the Hetty Feather series too but that is centred around an orphanage so maybe have a read first.

CharlieSays13 Mon 25-Nov-19 10:51:33

Thanks both. I've had a good look and I think I'll be safe enough if we keep away from the Tracey Beaker series. She loved Katy so much I don't want to discourage her totally from the author. I love to see her discovering new authors and styles of writing. I'll order some now so I can vet them before santa comes. 👍

OP’s posts: |
Moominmammaatsea Wed 27-Nov-19 22:47:53

Hello OP, just to come at this from another perspective, my eldest adopted daughter, now 11 (and reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula) absolutely loved all the Jacqueline Wilson books, and especially the Tracey Beaker series, because, I think, they made her life story feel more ‘normal’. I think we can tend to shy away from difficult subjects with our children, for fear of upsetting them, but I wonder sometimes if we’re communicating the fact that we are the ones unable to cope with the details of the challenging experiences they have actually lived?

Yolande7 Fri 29-Nov-19 15:07:34

I agree with @Moominmammaatsea. Both my daughters have read lots of the J Wilson books. They have learned a lot from them and the many, many other books with adoption and foster care themes they have read. These stories normalise adoption and give them the chance to reflect on their experiences without being too confrontational. It can also help them to understand why certain things happened or were decided the way they were.

My children can feel when it gets too much and just don't continue reading then. My theory is that if children really want to read a certain book, there is something in the story that speaks to them and that might help them process something.

If you feel, your daughter might not be able to cope with Tracy Beaker on her own, you could try reading it with her, talk it over and see how she reacts? Or build up to it?

PoppyStellar Fri 29-Nov-19 17:47:12

I had similar concerns as you OP when DD at about ages 7/8 first became interested in Tracy beaker and the dumping ground on cbbc (she’s much more of a watcher than a reader).

I came to the same conclusion as @Moominmammaatsea and *@Yolande7*. I started watching them with DD and she absolutely loves them and I think like the others say there’s an element of ‘normality’ in watching them because there is some relation and recognition in the situations depicted. DD is nearly 10 now and still really enjoys them. I can see evidence of what @Yolande7 says in terms of DD knowing when an episode or storyline becomes too much for her.

I would actually say that watching these programmes has helped DD to process some stuff. It’s helped to open up some conversations, and definitely has helped her to feel ‘normal’ (whatever normal looks like!)

CharlieSays13 Fri 29-Nov-19 23:40:50

Thanks everyone. My girl had only been with us 15 months and is presenting emotionally around half her age. Sadly, due to get SW being inexperienced (incompetent) she came to us believing her BM was dead. We're working through her life story with her very gently and she's definitely not ready for the Tracey Beaker stories, however, as I said I've found plenty of other JW books for her to get started on. 👍

OP’s posts: |
Yolande7 Wed 11-Dec-19 13:12:07

That's terrible. I am very sorry this happened to your daughter. I understand why you think TB will be too much.

jellycatspyjamas Wed 11-Dec-19 17:50:23

Sadly, due to get SW being inexperienced (incompetent) she came to us believing her BM was dead.

Oh dear God, how on earth did that happen - poor soul, and what a thing for you to be trying to deal with.

CharlieSays13 Fri 13-Dec-19 20:49:30

I could curl your hair with tales of their SWs inadequacy. It was an awful position for us to be in. Fortunately our SW and team were fantastic and provided as much advice and support as we could. I guess one positive is that we've had to have some difficult conversations right from day 3 and 16 months on this we're all getting quite good at it. 😊

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Mumtolittlesausage Sat 14-Dec-19 20:34:50

As a child I loved Jacqueline Wilson books. My favourite was the bed and breakfast star. Not adoption story, but one sbout poverty, it maybe worth trying that one x

Spartonian Sat 14-Dec-19 20:39:21

Avoid Dustbin baby

PoppyStellar Sun 15-Dec-19 18:54:58

@CharlieSays13 I’m so sorry to hear what you and your DD have had to go through. Absolutely horrendous. Totally understand your reticence, I hope things are improving for all of you flowers

sassygromit Mon 23-Dec-19 11:25:12

I have wanted to post on this thread for ages, as I was an avid reader who read pretty much anything which passed my nose! But I hope that I won't be stating the obvious too much.

I think that it is fine and good to want to distract by providing other books or give an outright ban, but the important thing is to explain why to dc, explain your thinking, and make it an ongoing open dialogue and negotiation - whether it is a ban or a distraction situation. If she is presenting as emotionally half her age, the talking and dialogue will help with her emotional development, but I agree with your intuition, and there are a lot of really well written inspiring books suitable for 8 year olds which would be easier to process emotionally.

I think that where you have an avid reader who reads everything, another good thing about having the ongoing dialogue and what you think vs what they think, it helps them develop a filter, and means that hopefully when they come across books which they realise may not be ok to read, whether adult or sex or just something which has been talked about, they are more likely to tell the parent - whether before or afterwards! The ongoing dialogue also helps them develop judgement about other things obviously - make choices, make value judgements, so on and so forth - so this is all good. It is a part of the wider "not for children" conversation applying to books, tv, video games, etc. And again, apologies if this is all stating the obvious.

I think that where there is trust and mutual respect between dc and parent, dc are appreciative of being protected and are accepting of it, even if they question and push boundaries - but obviously that usually takes a lot of time and practice to build with a recently adopted older child.

My own personal view of the dramatisation of TB (I haven't read the books) FWIW is that it makes dumping ground into some kind Grange Hill variant, and it is nothing like the reality, and also that in relation to Dustbin Baby not many Aprils find a lovely Marion in real life. But at the same time, I can see from this thread how the books can be helpful for some dc. I also personally found What Katy Did surprisingly traumatic, even though it was seen as a perfectly "ok" book... the only book I read as a child which spoke to me in relation to my past vs other people's past in a positive way was No End To Yesterday - it is one of the books which stayed with me, and it is a really interesting book, I think, but I'd recommend you read it before giving it to dc as it has some difficult and not very positive themes in it - and not for now, obviously.

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