Anything written by Jacqueline Wilson is a pleasure to read. Her unique talent for dealing with difficult subjects without a trace of sentimentality, without patronising either the reader or her characters, with spirit and with affection, always makes the arrival of a new book bearing her name a rewarding and emotionally satisfying experience.
In The Illustrated Mum, Wilson introduces us to Dolphin, a young girl living in the wake of her tattooed mother Marigold's manic depression. With her older sister, Star, on the brink of adulthood and facing the traumas of adolescence, and her mum sinking further and further into her illness, Dol has no-one to turn to when the constant bullying at school causes her to withdraw into her own world, and she begins to cope with the reality of her life by fantasising that she is a witch.
Far from being a depressing and overwhelming read, Wilson introduces her readers to another of her classic, resourceful heroines who deals with the extraordinary circumstances of her life with a mixture of humour and quiet intelligence which blossoms as the situation reaches its inevitable climax.
The Illustrated Mum is Jacqueline Wilson at her very best, introducing a difficult subject to young readers with a compassion that initiates an understanding of a very serious problem without condescension or scare tactics. (Ages 9 and over) --Susan Harrison
"Undoubtedly her best yet - single mum, feisty daughter, jaunty style - but there is a darker thread running through it" (Sunday Telegraph
"A book that children will respond to and be empowered by . . . A powerfully portrayed, sometimes shocking but ultimately uplifting story, this is a book not to be missed" (The Bookseller
"Darker, shocking in its exposure of the vulnerability of streetwise kids who have to seem tough, luridly well-written yet curiously as sentimental as Dickens" (Financial Times
"More than lives up the expectations of the many readers eagerly waiting for her new book . . . disturbingly perceptive and provocative" (Guardian
"Wilson is doing something important and rare. Not content to stand still, she's widening and deepening the scope of her work while maintaining its central hold on her readers. She's so good, it's exhilarating" (Guardian
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