3 thoughts on Jacqueline Wilson as an author now I’m older.
1 . When I first read an abundance of Jacqueline’s many stories, I came to the conclusion they were all about bullying. A bit naive – yes, but it was to me a true conclusion at my young age.
This deterred me. Bullying is 100% an important topic. At the time, I just didn’t want to read continuously about it in novels. I recently re-read a few titles; Dustbin Baby, Vicky Angel and Love Lessons, and woah has my opinion changed! Reading these stories now as a 21-year old I concur, yes bullying features strongly but it is amidst discovering sexual attraction, suicide and physical violence. I figure as my knowledge and experience has progressed so has my understanding of the stories. There is so much more to them than I first acknowledged.
April in Dustbin Baby encounters potentially dangerous men while out late at night, physical violence and suicide. Vicky in Vicky Angel encourages her best friend to … jump of a train. In Love lessons, teenage student Prudence, develops a sexual attraction towards her art teacher and pursues this, sparking a love affair.
Bullying plays a part in each story and was initially my focus as a young person. Though with good reason! Bullying is a very real topic of relevance, as a child participating in school. However, there is so much more ‘adult’ themes to a lot of Jacqueline stories that I overlooked and dismissed. By re-reading I’m gaining a whole new enjoyment of her stories!
2. Which leads me onto my second thought of Jacqueline Wilson stories as an adult. Although at first, I picked up a few books from my collection as I had nothing else to read I’m really enjoying them. I don’t argue that you shouldn’t enjoy a book primarily aimed at a younger audience but as the type of books I enjoy reading has progressed to include darker themes, more complicated storylines or styles of writing aimed at an older audience, the books I have recently read of Jacqueline’s were more than just something to read. I still thoroughly enjoyed them. This, probably in regards to what I overlooked as a child (mentioned previously). Albeit it takes me a lot less time to read them.
3. Thirdly, even now, Jacqueline’s story telling provides me with some comfort towards things I have experienced or are experiencing. In a sense – it’s not just me or this was/is normal. When I was a child I would devour Jacqueline’s books, reading them when possible at school and starting a collection at home. I loved that the characters’ stories were both: so different from what I had known and very familiar. Now the stories reflect what I have learned growing up and some aspects even mirror my own life and when it might not be necessarily something I want to tell people it’s sort of strange to think I find comfort in a fiction story meant for a younger audience. Fictions stories I cherished immensely as a child.
Overall, I think this, maybe what you could call a ‘light bulb moment’, emphasises the talent of Jacqueline Wilson as a much-loved children’s author. I loved her stories as a child, which really helped my love for reading take off and even now they are almost a comfort blanket. I returned when I had nothing much else to read and they took me on an adventure all over again without the feeling of being repetitive (having read them so many times before). And managed to tell, what I felt, was a whole new story. In future, I probably won’t be so hesitant to explore Jacqueline’s world again!