55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2009
I have read all of Jacqueline Wilson's books and even now, at the ripe old age of 25, I buy them as soon as they come out. I enjoyed 'Hetty Feather' a lot - slightly more cynical readers may say that it is 'Tracy Beaker' and 'Dustbin Baby' mixed together... but they are just grumpy curmudgeons, so who cares what they think.
What makes this book different from JW's previous work is the historical setting. Any child who has ever complained that "it's not fair!!" needs to read about Hetty being locked up in the attic, about her friend Polly being smacked across the hand with a ruler and about the general hardships which faced Victorian children. Yes, at times the story is bleak, but there are also some genuinely uplifting parts. The eponymous heroine is as sparky and fiesty as Tracy Beaker but still immensely likeable.
I will be sharing this book with my year 6 (10 yr old) class, as it is educational as well as entertaining. If you have ever read and enjoyed a JW book, then go for it - give Hetty Feather a home!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2012
Loved it! You will fall in love with this book no matter how old you are. You will laugh, cry, pity, anguish, fear, and experience all sorts of emotions while reading this book. It is no doubt worth recommending...to everyone! Jacqueline has a lot of real talent in writing this book. If you read this you will definitely be blown of your feet and be taken on a journey into Hetty's roller-coaster life. This book was an epic and enjoyable honor to read, i just couldn't seem to put it down!
The characters and settings are described vividly, and enough to form an image inside your head. You fall in love with almost every character in this book! The story line is fantastic and nothing like iv'e ever read before! The writing; also great, but i would recommend this book to ages nine and above. At times, the book is actually educational, and you get a pretty good idea of what it would be like to live in the year Hetty does!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2013
This book is the best book ever. I love all the hetty feather series but my favourite has to be hetty feather. This book is about a young girl called hetty feather who goes to the founding hospital when she was born to get fostered. She is fostered by a family with a boy called jem in it they love each other to bits and swear that they will marry and have kids together. When hetty returns to the founding hospital at the age of 5 she longs for adventure and she certainly gets it on the day of the queens golden jubilee. I highly recommend this and would say it's for about 8+ as I am 9 now but was 8 when I read it. BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2011
Hetty Feather is a great book! Hetty, the main character, has got such character. She's spunky, adventurous and curious. You really get to know her throughout the book and I hope J.W. will possibly write a sequel.
I thought the adventures she went on were really fun and daring! I quite liked what happened in the end, but I was hoping that she would have visited her foster family again. I think J.W. captured the Victorian scene very well!
If you're looking for a book to read on a rainy day, this book would be perfect!
It's an amazing book, one to be on your bookshelf!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2011
I have a nine year old daughter and she has loved the Tracy Beaker series which was written by Jacqeline Wilson, ever since she was first introduced to them on CBBC. My daughter has also been a very keen reader from a very early age, in particular, loving a great story.
Hetty Feather is a really great story, with twists and turns of plot a plenty. To give an idea of just how gripping this story is, imagine a nine year old not wanting to play with her Nintendo, watch TV, (not even Tracy Beaker) and want to get up early just to fit in a bit more reading!? Yep, it really is, that good!
For services to childrens literiture, if she hasn't already been given one, Jacqueline Wilson deserves a medal of some sort!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2011
I thought this book was great. My daughter often reads Jaqueline Wilson books and I find them generally pretty boring with way, way too much reported speech...they are almost impossible to read aloud because all you end up saying is 'he said, she said, said x, said y, she replied' ... I think many are quite poorly written & my daughter never finishes them herself as they don't live up to the rather wonderful Tracy Beaker TV programme which she loves. She gets bored with them too despite going back to the shelves to get another one each month as the pictures are great and the synopsis always sounds enticing. But I take all that back with Hetty Feather. It is great read, outloud or to yourself, much more interesting characters than usual, romps along at quite a pace, sad, touching, funny - neither of us wanted to put it down most nights - and historically interesting/educational as well! If you have a child studying Victorians at school soon then this will be quite likely to grab her/his enthusaism for that subject too... added bonus. I suppose it is more suitable for girls than boys (as the main character is female) but I'm sure if a boy read it too he'd be engaged with some of the excitement and downright cruelty that the children suffer. At last, a Jaqueline Wilson book worth the fuss.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2011
This book was absoloutly brilliant. It is one of my favourite Jacqeline Wilson books. The story of Hetty's quest to find her real mother is heart warming and thrilling. It is a lovely book which I would without a doubt recommened to any reader, young or old. It is a fantastic book.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2009
I was blown away by the amazing adventures of Hetty Feather and her search for her mother. I laughed and cried with Hetty. I really felt I was there with her. She has such faith in Gem and she never once forgot her old life in the country. I loved the book so much I read it in a week, and it's quite a big book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2010
I thought when I first read the blurb of Hetty Feather that it would be quite boring and old fashioned because of the Victorian era - well, was I proven wrong! I'm amazed at Wilsons skill to make a book based in the Victorian period as exciting and worth reading as she did! I loved it - and the font was clear and easy to read. The parts where the circus came to town were excellently described - I felt as if I was there watching everything before me! I would reccomend this heart felt book to mainly girls (though alot of boys might enjoy this as much as I did) under fourteen. Enjoy!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2010
I think I had the concept of narrative expectation in the back of my head when I sat down to read the book "Hetty Feather" by Jaqueline Wilson the other day. Just to explain, I am a huge fan of Wilson's children's and YA novels. She writes in such a natural and emotionally effective way. Her dialogue is usually very good too and her plotting keeps you in suspense. The young women and girls she writes about have such depth of characterization, very much like real children and so easy to fall in love with.
I read "Hetty Feather" from cover to cover all in one evening. I loved the beginning of the book when Hetty was living in the cottage with Jem and her foster mother and father, but the end of the book left me feeling somewhat disappointed and cheated.
Sometimes I wonder why I feel that way after a movie or book and wonder if it's just my peculiar idiosyncratic reaction to the story and I don't know what specifically provoked me to feel that way and I'm being silly because that book is a classic or that film is an Oscar winner. But actually a lot of that feeling of narrative disappointment makes sense because sometimes the author will set up an expectation in the beginning that one expects to pay off. When it does not pay off in the end the reader experiences narrative disappointment.
For example at the beginning of "Hetty Feather" when Hetty discovers she'll be sent away from her foster parents back to the Foundling Hospital when she is six, her foster brother Jem promises over and over that when he is old enough, he will come and find her and then they can get married and be together forever on the family farm. As the events of the story transpire Hetty is sent back to the Foundling Hospital where she is very cruelly treated. Although by the end of the book she has found her biological mother and discovered writing as something she enjoys doing-- she never sees Jem or her family from the beginning of the story again.
I understand that the author doesn't want Hetty to just be saved by Jem and to be the typical helpless girl of a Victorian story. Wilson wants to show Hetty as self-determining and to provide an example for young girls that probably no boy will come along and save them and make their problems go away. However, Ida, the maid at the hospital who turns out to be Hetty mother, her admission reall seemed to come out of left field.
I can't really say I cared that much about whether Hetty found her biological mother or not-- I cared more about her relationships to the very real family at the beginning of the book. I never really assumed that Jem would simply find her, rescue her and marry her when she was of age, but having Jem say he'd come for her and having her talk and dream about him coming so constantly through the book, at least sets up the audience expectation that she will meet Jem again, even if their reunion isn't anything quite like she pictured it.
I really didn't want Hetty to go back to the Foundling Hospital again after she ran away. I wanted her to actually join the circus and meet Jem somehow through the circus. I really did appreciate the historical accuracy of the book and the way the children's speech sounds just Victorian enough to make it obvious it takes place a long time ago, without being so archaic as to be incomprehensible to modern children, something real Victorian children's literature often suffers from.
For those who like sad parts of a story, we have Saul, her foster's brother's death, Gideon's future as army cannon fodder remaining unchanged, and Polly's future as a rich couple's replacement for their dead daughter. Polly is forced to change her name and wear the dead child's clothes and play with her toys seemed down right creepy to me, although maybe this was based on the real life of a particular orphan, I can't say. I just would have loved to see Wilson's research for this book. There must have been some really fascinating stuff she turned up in the archives of the Foundling Hospital.
Even an author as skilled as Wilson can set up a particular expectation and then not follow through with its incorporation and fulfilment for the audience. Personally I think the idea of reincorporation should be discussed the very first day of any writer trainer program. Usually, it is only mentioned in passing, when really reincorporation is the backbone of all literary structure. If you watch a narrative entertainment that feels disappointing or disorganized to you, it is probably from a lack of reincorporation of elements from the beginning. If you don't reincorporate you end up with something that feels highly episodic and disjointed.