10 Interesting Facts About Jacqueline Wilson

The author of funny, poignant and shocking books, including The Story of Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather, Jacqueline Wilson is a legendary children's author, having sold millions of books around the world. Discover 10 fun facts about her life and achievements here.

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1. She got her first writing job for D. C. Thomson (creators of The Beano and The Dandy) off the back of an ad in the paper, which stated: WANTED - TEENAGE WRITERS. She wrote an amusing piece about what it's like to go to your first dance, how embarrassing it is if no-one is interested in you, and how to look as though you're enjoying yourself anyway!

2. When Jacqueline arrived in Scotland to work at D. C. Thomson, she found there was some confusion over her hostel booking, and all the rooms were completely full! The matron took pity on her and offered her the linen cupboard - which, it turned out, was the warmest room in the place, and made her very popular with the other girls!

3. She worked on a magazine called Jackie for D. C. Thomson, which became a big favourite with teenage girls. There is a rumour that the magazine was named after her, but she confesses that this isn't true; the name was simply popular at the time, thanks to Jackie O.

4. Jacqueline was married for almost 40 years - to a man who hated reading! He was a printer at D. C. Thomson and then became a police officer, and they had one daughter together, Emma. In the end, however, she discovered he was having an affair, and the couple divorced in 2004.

5. Jacqueline has sold millions of books all over the world. In the UK alone, the total now stands at over 35 million!

6. In 2002, Jacqueline received the OBE for her services to literacy in schools, and in the 2008 New Year Honours, she was made Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

7. From 2005-2007, Jacqueline was the Children's Laureate. In this role, she urged parents and childcare providers to continue reading aloud to children long after they can read for themselves, and campaigned to make more books available for blind people, amongst other projects.

8. Jacqueline's parents married 3 months after meeting, and had a strained relationship. Jacqueline remembers how they would bicker and row, hissing insults at each other over breakfast when the family holidayed in Clacton.

9. Jacqueline Wilson's own childhood bedroom was a dreary, brown room - but as long as she had her dolls and books, she was happy. She was a voracious reader, and spent much of her childhood in the library.

10. Jacqueline and her illustrator, Nick Sharratt, are very close friends, and holiday together every year, visiting Landmark Trust properties and deciding how elaborately to decorate the visitors' book!

  • HET2 9 years +
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    Warm, moving, funny and totally fascinating, Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson is the perfect book for young readers aged 9 and over.

    It's London, 1876, and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school. Life in the countryside is hard but with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she helps in the fields and plays imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by the show, especially Madame Adeline and her performing horses. But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she is returned to the Foundling Hospital. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

    Jacqueline Wilson will surprise and delight old fans and new with this utterly original take on a historical novel. Set in Victorian times and featuring a brand new feisty heroine, Hetty Feather, this is a Tracy Beaker-esque tale that will thrill young readers.
  • EAK2 9 years +
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    The Story of Tracy Beaker introduces Jacqueline Wilson's most popular character ever!

    10-year-old Tracy lives in a care home but frequently escapes from her annoying surroundings with the help of a vivid imagination.

    Accompanied by brilliant illustrations from Nick Sharratt, The Story of Tracy Beaker is essential reading for children from 9+.
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    Jacqueline Wilson covers important issues in her immensely readable novels and here are six completely unabridged audiobook versions spread across 10 CDs.

    Including two Tracy Beaker stories, the CD collection provides over nine hours of listening pleasure, making it a must for long journeys. Throughout the stories, the likeable characters must navigate various trials and tribulations.

    All the stories are full of wit, candour and observations and are brought to life by celebrities including Bernard Cribbins, Stephen Tompkinson and Sandi Toksvig.

    Box size: 128 x 127mm, 10 CDs. Running time approx 9 hours, 33 minutes.

    CDs in this collection:
    Cliffhanger, Twin Trouble, Connie and the Water Babies, Mark Spark in the Dark / Jimmy Jelly, Starring Tracy Beaker - Discs 1-3, The Story of Tracy Beaker - Discs 1-3.