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The Suitcase Kid Hardcover – Special Edition, 3 Sep 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books; Gift edition edition (3 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385603223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385603225
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 976,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacqueline Wilson is an extremely well-known and hugely popular author. The Illustrated Mum was chosen as British Children's Book of the Year in 1999 and was winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award 2000. Jacqueline has won the prestigious Smarties Prize and the Children's Book Award for Double Act, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal. In June 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and in 2008 she was made a Dame.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Although there are many children's books about divorce, few move beyond bland therapeutic preaching into the realm of well-told stories. This one does. A hard look at joint-custody life, The Suitcase Kid follows Andrea West and her tiny stuffed rabbit, Radish, through the painful adjustment of being a kid with divorced parents. She must leave the home she loves with the mulberry tree in the front yard, and deal with parents who still fight, step parents, step siblings, two different bedrooms (neither of which is really hers), loneliness, and an acute longing for the past. Her grades sink. Her friends drift away. And she's not quite sure how to fix any of it.

Wisely, Jacqueline Wilson doesn't offer instant solutions; rather, she chronicles Andy's journey to the beginning of equilibrium in her new life. Things will never be the way they were, but, as the book suggests, they'll get better over time. And because it's well written and honest, The Suitcase Kid will appeal to any child who enjoys realistic fiction, not just those who "need" to read a book about divorce. (The publisher recommends the The Suitcase Kid for ages 8-12, but it could easily serve kids who are a couple of years younger or older.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A brilliant young writer of wit and subtlety' The Times. 'She's so good, it's exhilarating' Philip Pullman, Guardian. 'She should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance' Independent On Sunday.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Laura K on 24 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I chose to review this book as part of my children's literature project and found myself unable to put it down! The structure is somewhat unusual (though clever) as each chapter takes the reader through the alphabet ('A is for...Andrea'...etc). This may be quite intriguing for young readers, encouraging them to finish the book and discover what each letter stands for in Andrea's life. When approaching the content, some readers may feel the book paints a negative picture of step families, though i must say I don't agree. It simply outlines how difficult it can be to adjust and I am certain that young readers will find the book helpful. While many will be able to relate to the character 'Andrea' (the 'suitcase kid', whose parents have divorced), the story may also help children unfamilliar with divorce to understand what friends may be going through.
Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss VINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book over and over when I was younger. It's a fantastic story about Andy, a young girl who is trying to cope with her parents' divorce, and her irritating new stepfamilies. It's brilliantly written and the emotions and thoughts of Andy are so realistic. Anyone who has felt out of place in their own home will understand immediately the feelings Andy has.
As well as being realistic and helpful, this book is also really funny and very easy to read. It's not at all preachy. Not just for children coping with divorce, this is a great book in its own right.
It will definitely appeal to anyone who has had trouble dealing with the things life throws at them, and who has ever felt that the only world which won't disappoint them is the one they create in their imagination. Heartwarming, enjoyable and at times tearjerking, this book is a refuge from all the people who don't understand you.
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By JCNQ8 on 27 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
Here are some of our Y6 English Group Reviews (unedited and their final drafts):
1. When Andrea’s parents split up, they didn't know what to do with her, she ended up one week at mums and the other at dads, it’s too much pressure for her, but she manages to go through life with her little Radish! Her Mum lives with the ‘Baboon’ and 3 children while her father lives with Carrie and her twins, she just doesn’t stand it. All that Andy wants is her own parents, own family, her own room in her own Mulberry Cottage!
2. The book ‘The Suitcase Kid’ is a very good story because it is detailed and has lots of description.
The subject is interesting because most people don't like to talk about sad things such as divorced parents or having no friends.
This story written by Jacqueline Wilson is about a girl called Andrea who has divorced parents and she can’t settle in one place. She lives one week at her Mum’s house and the next with her Dad. Andrea’s parents have both remarried and have children, and Andrea keeps fighting with them.
She goes to and fro between home and school alone every day and I think her parents are irresponsible because she can easily get kidnapped or robbed.
Andrea has only one friend, who is a stuffed rabbit called Radish. To Andrea, Radish is real because it reminds her of the days when her Mum and Dad and her all lived in Mulberry Cottage together, which is where Andrea and her parents lived before they divorced.
This book has many different parts such as sadness, loneliness and fantasy. The story is sort of like an Andrea’s diary of important events but overall, I think it is an interesting and well written book for young children.
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By Serpantine on 1 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
For ten-year-old Andy, everything she had once considered stable and familiar has gone forever. Her parents have had a bitter divorce, and not only does she have to move out of her cottage, she also accquires five step siblings overnight. Naturally, Andy doesn't take to any of this at all. She argues with her new family members and finds herself stuck in the middle of her parent's petty arguments.

Andy lives with her mum one week and her dad the next. This arrangement is supposed to keep everyone happy, but all it does is create tension between her parents and forces her to carve out a place as a family member in two households, instead of just the one. There's also a sense of loneliness in Andy and, rather more worryingly, the idea that she is homeless baggage. Things come to a head when Andy loses her one remaining tie with her old life, and she runs away from her mum's house to recover it.

The story reaches a satisfying yet realisticly open-ended conclusion. Andy and mean step-sister Katie don't become best friends, but they learn to tolerate each other; and while Andy's parents don't get back together, they seem to at least be in the process of forming a truce. This shows great sensitivity on the part of the author - the ending is happy, but not perfect. It leaves you with a sense of hope, but doesn't damage any young readers going through a similar experience by creating a false promise.

The style is rather simplistic even for Wilson, and there isn't a lot of depth to any of the characters. Thankfully the story itself will probably be interesting enough to those in the target age group that they won't mind. The chapters are short and the book will be completed quickly by competent readers.
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