While updating my never-ending Goodreads to-read list yesterday, I decided to back-date the books I read when I was younger. One thing led to another, and a few minutes later (OK, hours later… am I the only person who has to make sure the book cover on my digital shelves is the actual version of the book I read?) I had my Goodreads filled with as many books from my childhood as I could remember.
Browsing through the books of my childhood really brought back great memories of long, lazy days spent in another world entirely with some of my favourite characters ever. I basically collected Jacqueline Wilson books when I was younger and I wish I had have held on to more of them, the only ones I have kept are the Girls series, as I was lucky enough to meet the author in 2002 and have Girls in Tears signed when it was released.
I was surprised when I saw some of the reviews for her earlier books, as the overall rating is definitely lower than I was expecting, but then I wonder if the target readers are the ones leaving the reviews or if it is the opinion of their parents…
As a young girl, or a “tween” as we were called then (a buzzword to describe someone of around 11 or 12, not quite a child and not quite a teenager), I was a huge fan of Jacqueline Wilson. HUGE. I would go so far as to say that at one point I had practically every book she had published, up until that crossover age where you regretfully have to let go of your childhood authors and move on to something a little more testing, or risk your vocabulary being stuck in a rut for the rest of your adult life.
Bad Girls was one of the first Jacqueline Wilson books I read, and one of the first books I reread repeatedly over the years. Looking back it was definitely one of the first books I remember that hit on some very contemporary, and probably quite controversial issues (for the time). I’m now 24 and I still remember Mandy and Tanya vividly; their exploits, how embarrassed I felt on behalf of Mandy when her mum was treating her like a baby, and how much a part of me wanted a friend like Tanya too. Considering I’m somewhat out of the loop on children’s fiction, it was great to see how many books Jacqueline Wilson has published since she stopped being the only author on my bookshelves. Some of Wilson’s earlier books were a little hit or miss with me, but we all have our favourites that stay with us as we grow up, and Bad Girls is one that sticks.
Have you read any Jacqueline Wilson? Who are some of your favourite children’s authors? Let’s get chatting in the comments!