A unique collection of linked short stories by one of Britain's most popular and bestselling authors, including a brilliant story by a 12 year-old competition winner.
JACQUELINE WILSON is an extremely well-known and hugely popular author who served as Children's Laureate from 2005-7. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the British Children's Book of the Year and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award (for The Illustrated Mum), the Smarties Prize and the Children's Book Award (for Double Act, for which she was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal). In 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and in 2008 she was appointed a Dame. She was the author most borrowed from British libraries in the last decade. 'A brilliant writer of wit and subtlety' THE TIMES 'She should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Has a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues' BOOKSELLER
Gr 4-6-Holly fears that she will soon have a stepmother. Greg admires a girl and hopes to be her boyfriend. Claire has nightmares. William thinks he is useless at everything. Samantha misses her dad, who has left their family to marry another woman. Lisa is frightened by her angry father. Natasha wants to be in the school concert but is uneasy because she is in a wheelchair. These students are all in the same class. Mr. Speed is their fast-moving, funny, and caring teacher who offers The Worry Web Site to his students in an effort to provide the opportunity for them to type in their concerns anonymously. Members of the class address one another's problems by adding their comments. Mr. Speed oversees and quietly intervenes when necessary. Each chapter relates the story of one student. Character development is slight but sufficient and is enhanced by the interaction of the students with one another throughout the book. Their problems are realistic in that some of them do not have clear solutions. Wilson shows that she understands the lives, fears, and worries of young people, and the book has enough suspense, enhanced by frequent humor, for reluctant readers.-Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information Center, Berwyn, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
British author Wilson (The Suitcase Kid; Girls in Tears) offers an uneven but generally appealing collection of highly personal accounts, narrated in turns by various members of Mr. Speed's class. On the "Worry Web Site" created by the teacher, the students anonymously reveal their problems and receive feedback. The inaugural tale, "Holly's Worry," is the longest and among the more memorable. "I think I'm going to get a stepmother," the girl types onto the Web site. "I wish she was wicked." She explains, to readers but not to classmates, that, ever since her depressed mother abandoned the family years before, it has been her job to look after her father and her younger sister. Now her father has fallen in love with her sister's teacher, and Holly wishes she could justify her own intense anger and resentment. In other stories, William complains that he is "useless at everything"; Samantha misses her father, now living with another woman; and wheelchair-bound Natasha, who can talk only with the aid of a speaking machine, confides that she longs to take part in the class concert. In each case, the teacher intervenes to help solve the dilemma-with results that vary in credibility. The warmth of the premise and the empathy of the author make up for the gaps in believability; readers will want to imagine themselves under Mr. Speed's tutelage. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"The bestselling Wilson has quite a remarkable nose for what children think and feel, and the issues that concern them. She also has an accessible literary style that children love. In this series of linked short stories the two are married in perfect union" * Guardian * "Jacqueline Wilson's ability to explore disturbing issues within a framework of humour and insight shines through as ever" * The Bookseller * "Jacqueline Wilson has worked wonders again and produced yet another really brilliant book . . . A fab read!" * Girl Talk * "A smart, funny collection of short stories that should help kids sort out a few of their worries" * Daily Mirror *