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Jacqueline Wilson - aren't her books depressing?

(64 Posts)
daisie4 Sat 14-Feb-09 22:00:22

My DD wasn't really interested in reading a book to the end ntil she discovered Jacquline Wilson. No she's read loads, but... aren't they all so depressing full of broken families etc. I'd prefer her to read positive stuff, or at least something that reflects her own life a bit more. Does anyone else have this view?
Does anyone have any suggestions for other authors she might like that I might too?
Am I being utopian?

HSMM Sat 14-Feb-09 22:08:22

My DD (age 9) has recently started to love Jacqueline Wilson. I make a point of reading her books, so I know what she's reading. I hate them ... but I can also see that they reflect a lot of typical family environments these days. She even read one about a girl who committed suicide!

janeite Sat 14-Feb-09 22:14:24

How old is she? I also think JW is over-rated and too reliant on "shock" value but lots of girls do like reading her.

Malory Blackman worth a look. Maybe some of the classics might appeal?

Will keep thinking.

daisie4 Sat 14-Feb-09 22:17:51

OMG suicide - which one is that? - am very worried now! Does your DD like anything else thats nice?

My DD is 9.

paolosgirl Sat 14-Feb-09 22:17:53

I haven't encouraged either of the DC's to read JW - the only experience I have of her (and it's more than enough)is Tracey Beaker, who is probably one of the most odius characters on children's television.

raisingrrrl Sat 14-Feb-09 22:22:52

My Sister Jodie is the one where the girl commits suicide. I bought it for my 9 year old goddaughter's birthday, but thank god i read it first - she didn't get it and I bought her Anne of Green Gables instead, which she loves!

janeite Sat 14-Feb-09 22:23:15

Okay - books for nine year old girls:

Clarice Bean - fabbo
Charlotte's Web
Ballet Shoes
Charlotte Sometimes
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Black Beauty

raisingrrrl Sat 14-Feb-09 22:23:48

Anne Fine is a good author - although she might be out of touch for 9 year olds these days!

daisie4 Sat 14-Feb-09 22:28:41

Thank you!

I've just looked up Malorie Blackman on Amazon and the books look really interesting so I shall order DD one - any of them your particular favourites?
I'm off to look at the others now.

PS My husband hates Tracey Beaker with a passion - I cant believe an adult can take such a dislike to a character on a childrens program!

janeite Sat 14-Feb-09 22:41:25

At nine, the Malory Blackman ones that I've read might be a bit too edgy. However, she has a website that breaks her books up into categories, including a "confident readers" section that comes before the sort of teen and pre-teen stuff that she is better known for.

nappyaddict Sat 14-Feb-09 22:47:49

I used to love JW. Can't say it damaged me too much!

gagarin Sat 14-Feb-09 22:53:59

"I'd prefer her to read positive stuff, or at least something that reflects her own life a bit more."

Imagine if that's what YOU had to read...we'd be bored to tears by a positive book that reflected our own lives.

Reading about other people's lives is what makes literature exciting and un-put-downable.

Let her choose.

How about Dickens (such lovely storylines wink) or even better Shakesspeare...

ps am a great fan of mallory blackman - BUT you may find it "worse" that JW if you are looking for something "nice"

QOD Sat 14-Feb-09 23:03:04

I banned them in my house, however, dd got the Tracy Beaker Trilogy from nana for Christmas and read it - a huge thick, 3 books in 1 book....a girl who wouldnt read at all for pleasure.
She has "inherited" most of the rest from her cousin now, I read them first and omg arentthey icky

SHould add though, there are girls in her friendship group going thru some of this stuff, affairs, divorce, desertion etc

life is depressing!

paolosgirl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:04:18

What on earth is wrong with reading postive stuff? She's 9 years old fgs - she's got a whole life ahead of her in which to experience the negative stuff.

Dickens and Shakespeare at 9 - are you trying to turn her off literature and reading for good??!

ChampagneAndStrawberries Sat 14-Feb-09 23:05:17

Jodie in My Sister Jodie doesn't commit suicide. She does die, but it's an accident.

Many of the JW books have happy endings. Off the top of my head...

The Illustrated Mum does (central character finds her father, who she's never met, and starts to build a relationship with him and his family, and her mother starts getting treatment for what's reasonably clearly bipolar disorder, which has been adversely affecting the family's life).

Dustbin Baby does (central character was found in an alley as a baby and has never come to terms with knowing nothing about her birth family. By the end she's come to terms with the fact that she will never know her birth mother, but has strengthened her relationship with her adoptive (or might be foster) mother and given herself some roots by talking to the person who found her in the alley).

Vicky Angel does, more or less (central character's best friend dies at the beginning of the book and she tries to come to terms with the death. By the end she's reached the stage of acceptance and rebuilding her life)

Double Act does (central characters are twins who have always done everything together; they fall out when they start to develop different priorities but by the end have realised that being individuals doesn't stop them being sisters and friends)

The Suitcase Kid does (central character comes to terms with her new blended family after her parents' divorce)

They're not Pollyanna, obviously. But they aren't all depressing. Not all books with single, divorced or remarried parents are automatically depressing.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 14-Feb-09 23:08:01

The only JW book I know is The Cat Mummy.

For all the horrendous stuff in it, it ends happily. It's very reassuring.

Yurtgirl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:08:18

Get her the Gemma series by Noel Streatfield

I read them again and again and again at your dds age and older.......

There are four, all about a family and their actress cousin who comes to live with them.

paolosgirl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:08:24

So -

Mental ill health
Abandoned baby
Death of a child
Divorce

Well, that will certainly give her a taste of the negative stuff in life!

Yurtgirl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:13:19

Um... I have just looked up the Gemma series on Amazon, they seem to be out of print

I am feeling very sad that I got rid of mine!

raisingrrrl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:13:59

Champagne - you're right, I'm sorry. I read it too quickly and misremembered the ending. blush

Still don't think JW books are very nice though - and I didn't feel that MSJ was appropriate for my 9 year old goddaughter (v sensitive and immature). Having said that, I read "Dear Nobody" (Berlie Doherty) at about that age and it hasn't scarred me for life! Think it depends largely on the child - after all, Black Beauty has some fairly horrific bits in it (Ginger on her way to the glue factory, anybody? grin)

picnictable Sat 14-Feb-09 23:19:15

my dd liked JW for a while too - we even have some signed books of hers. I read a few of them and thought they were depressing too. She has outgrown them now

janeite Sat 14-Feb-09 23:20:23

DD1 read lots of JW's at around eight or nine. However, she soon decided that they were rather formulaic and tbh a bit wearing: that's my big problem with them, rather than that they are depressing; they just aren't desperately well-written and all get pretty samey. She loved "The Illustrated Mum" though - and there is a very good TV version of it.

cory Sat 14-Feb-09 23:23:01

I think it depends on how much the child reads. I agree that if you read nothing but J W the result might be a bit depressing. But my dd at that age was a voracious reader; she had possibly read all of J W, but that was only a small part of all the books she had read, some uplifting, some sad, some everyday, some fantastical. I wouldn't like to exist entirely on a diet of Thomas Hardy, but I do still enjoy his books from time to time.

raisingrrrl Sat 14-Feb-09 23:23:02

I used to love Paula Danziger books too - although she is American and so a lot of the references are to summer camps and things that weren't overly relevant to me.

I'm sure my mother used to hate them all though - they certainly weren't much better than Jacqueline Wilson! Mind you, she encouraged me to read Equus at 10 hmm Gave me nightmares for weeks!

janeite Sat 14-Feb-09 23:24:08

Lol at comparing JW to Thomas Hardy - genius!

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