Introducing Tracy Beaker, 10-year-old girl-wonder and the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress . . . Sort of.
Tracy Beaker’s not exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. She has a picture of her mother, who’s pretty enough to be in movies, so maybe she is. And maybe one day Tracy’s mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, and together they’ll have fabulous adventures. Then again, maybe she won’t. In the meantime, Tracy’s doing everything she can to take care of herself–even though she has to share her birthday cake with silly Petey Ingham just because they have the same birthday . . . And even though the other girls she lives with are mean and nasty and rude and horrible. Mostly. Then a journalist shows up to write a story about their orphanage, and she and Tracy strike up a special friendship.
In a story written with humor and sensitivity, Tracy emerges as a spirited girl who’s not quite as tough as she lets
everybody think she is.
From the Hardcover edition.
Wilson (Double Act; Bad Girls) presents an insightful portrait of 10-year-old Tracy in the girl’s own words. Readers initially make her acquaintance through entries in a fill-in book entitled ‘My Book About Me.’ Her revelations are by turn caustic, funny and heartbreaking. Living in a group home for children after two unsuccessful stints in foster homes, Tracy repeatedly expresses her fervent hope and pitiable conviction that her roaming, much-idolized mother will appear to take her away. ‘There’s not much point making friends because I expect to be moving on soon,’ resolves the heroine, whose tough-kid veneer is wrenchingly transparent. An aspiring author, Tracy takes solace in her autobiographical writing and her new friendship with Cam, a writer who visits the home while researching an article. Despite Tracy’s passionate attempts to persuade Cam to take her in as a foster child, her fate is uncertain at the close of the novel. Yet her indomitable spirit and grit leaves little doubt that she will end up on top. Sharratt’s drawings help to keep the mood light, as Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Tracy lives in a group home for children. She takes solace in writing and in a new friendship with a writer who visits the home for research. PW called this novel an ‘insightful portrait’ of 10-year-old narrator, Tracy, ‘whose tough-kid veneer is wrenchingly transparent.’ Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
Kathy Egner, Ph.D. – Children’s Literature
Jacqueline Wilson has created a character that is destined to endure in the minds and hearts of her readers. Tracy is a ten-year-old girl living in a home for children. She has already been placed in numerous foster homes, none of which has worked out for her. As a consequence, she has developed a hard exterior posture of seeming not to care about anyone or anything. Her deepest fantasy is that her mother, whom she imagines as a glamorous star, will return any moment and sweep her away. Tracy’s outlet is writing in her journal. As the story progresses, Tracy meets a writer named Cam. Tracy develops the idea that Cam should foster her, but Cam is quite definite that such a plan is out of the question. The two develop somewhat of a friendship, but Tracy’s fantasy remains. The book ends suddenly, so the reader never finds out if Tracy and Cam get together or not. This rather abrupt ending was the only thing that was not enjoyable about the book. Wilson was born in Bath, England. This book was first published in 1991 in England, where it was short listed for the Smarties Prize, one of the most respected book prizes in the UK. BBC sponsors a Tracy Beaker website that includes, among other features, parent and teacher resources to accompany the book. This book is recommended for