With over 100 books under her creative belt, Jacqueline Wilson truly has something for all types of readers. But with so much on offer, where on earth are you meant to start if you’re completely new to the wonderful world of Wilson? Well, don’t fret! We’ve handpicked some gems to help get you started.

Laugh out loud adventures

tracy beaker by jacqueline wilson

We Are The Beaker Girls illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2019)

Tracy Beaker is all grown up and a mum to the very sweet and caring Jess. She is also just as much a spitfire as ever! After breaking up with her footballer boyfriend Sean – read My Mum Tracy Beaker for the full story – Tracy and Jess have moved to Cooksea to start afresh. They’re now running an antique shop called The Dumping Ground, they have a new dog, and they’ve also made some great new friends! Everything seems to be going swimmingly. But then Sean appears on the scene. And Jess starts to get bullied by a local kid. Will the Beaker girls be able to stick together and make things work at their new seaside home?

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

Listen to an extract of the audiobook

The Worst Thing About My Sister illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2012)

Get set for a roller-coaster ride of emotions in this story of sisterhood. Readers are introduced to two very popular Jacqueline Wilson characters in this read – Melissa and Marty. Now, these siblings might be related, but they couldn’t be more different if they tried. Marty loves playing football and hiding in her secret den, while Melissa loves Justin Bieber and all things pink. So, imagine the collision course when these two are forced to share a room!

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

The Story of Tracy Beaker illustrated by Nick Sharratt (1991)

Get ready to laugh out loud alongside one of Jacqueline Wilson’s most adventurous, most opinionated, and most iconic characters! The Story of Tracy Beaker is a perfect choice if you’re just beginning your Jacqueline Wilson journey. It follows 10-year-old Tracy as she navigates life in a children’s care home – or as she prefers to call it, ‘The Dumping Ground’. If you still need some persuasion, here are a few words from Tracy herself (she insisted): “I'm Tracy Beaker. This is a book all about me. I'd read it if I were you. It's the most incredible dynamic heart-rending story. Honest.”

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

Heartwarming and funny stories

Cliffhanger illustrated by Nick Sharratt (1995)

Explore the unknown and get ready to giggle! Tim isn’t what you would call the outdoorsy type… he prefers, well, let’s just say more armchair pursuits. So, when his dad sends him off on an adventure holiday, Tim expects nothing short of the ABSOLUTE WORST; we’re talking, climbing, canoeing, ABSEILING and a Crazy Bucket Race! Poor Tim. Can he survive this week of absolute horrors jam-packed full of vigorous non-sitting? And can his team – the Tigers – come out on top in the end? There are some surprises in store for everyone in Jacqueline Wilson’s Cliffhanger

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

Sleepovers illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2001)

This story follows Daisy, the newest member of the Alphabet Club. Being the new girl in the group, Daisy wants to do everything she can to fit in with the rest of the Alphabet Club; even though one of the girls – Chloe – isn’t exactly making that easy for her. Things go from tricky to stressful when all the girls start planning their own elaborate birthday sleepover parties. As the girls prepare to attend her sleepover, Daisy starts to worry about introducing this group of friends to her rather special older sister. What will happen when her worlds collide?

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Take a step back in time

The Runaway Girls illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2021)

Two girls from two very different worlds collide in this Victorian-era tale. Lucy Locket comes from a wealthy family. Her father has recently remarried and so Lucy now has a new mother, a new baby sister, and a new governess. She’s terribly unhappy and wishes she had someone who would be kind to her. Kitty Fisher, on the other hand, is a street performer. Never sure when her next meal will be, Kitty earns money by tumbling and has recently lost the only friend she ever had. After coming to Lucy’s rescue, Kitty shows her how to survive on the streets and the pair team-up. This is a heart-warming historical tale, and it marks the end of Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt’s 30-year partnership!

Recommended reading age: 8-12 years old

Listen to an extract of the audiobook

Wave Me Goodbye illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2017)

In Wave Me Goodbye, Jacqueline Wilson transports readers to September 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War. We meet Shirley who is being sent away on a train with her schoolmates. All she’s been told is that she’s going on ‘a little holiday’. Along with two boys from East End London, Shirley is relocated to the strange, half-empty Red House, belonging to the mysterious and reclusive Mrs Waverley. What happens next, none of them could’ve ever imagined.

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

Dancing the Charleston illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2019)

Jacqueline Wilson’s story will transport readers all the way back to the roaring twenties. Mona lives on the edge of the magnificent Somerset estate with her aunt – a brilliant dressmaker for the lady of the house. Despite never knowing either of her parents, Mona knows her aunt will always look out for her. Then Lady Somerset dies, leaving the house to be taken over by a more bohemian family member. Mona’s world begins to revolve around dazzling balls, trips to London, delicious food, and wild new friends. But all this glitz and glamour comes with secrets…

Recommended reading age: 9-12 years old

hetty feather by jacqueline wilson

Hetty Feather illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2009)

Hetty Feather is one of Jacqueline Wilson’s most well-known period characters. Hetty was born in London in the year 1876. She was left as a baby on the steps of the Foundling Hospital and sent to live with a foster family in the country. Although life in the country isn’t exactly easy, our heroine lives a life full of fun and imagination alongside her foster brothers. But, Hetty’s world is soon turned upside down when she must return to the Foundling Hospital to begin her education and unpick her past… Explore a different time in this unique Victorian tale. 

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

Inspiring friendships and families

katy by jacqueline wilson

Katy illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2015)

Jacqueline Wilson is a fan of both drawing on and adapting concepts and characters from the past. Katy is a classic example, as this story is actually inspired by an 1872 novel called What Katy Did. Wilson has imagined up an irresistible, adventurous, and resilient 21st-century heroine whose life changes dramatically after a terrible accident, in her modern version of Katy. This book is one that fans of both Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker are destined to fall in love with. 

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

The Butterfly Club illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2015)

Tina is the teeny one in her triplet and, as such, her sisters are VERY protective of her. But she is soon forced to spread her wings and fly solo when the girls are split up in the mean Miss Lovejoy’s class. Tina is paired up with the class bully Selma (can this get any worse?!) and the two girls are asked to help Miss Lovejoy build a butterfly garden. Tina soon learns that there’s far more to most people than meets the eye, including herself. A beautiful story about unlikely friendships and standing on your own two feet.

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

The Suitcase Kid illustrated by Nick Sharratt (1992)

For as long as she can remember, Andy lived with her mum, dad, and Radish, her Sylvanian rabbit. But everything’s different now; now, her mum lives with Bill the Baboon and his three kids, while her dad lives with Carrie and the twins. Life has been turned totally upside down for Andy since the divorce; she spends one week with mum’s new family, then one week with dad’s. Repeat. It’s as easy as A B C; at least that’s what everyone keeps telling her. All Andy wants is a home to call her own again, but will she find one?

Recommended reading age: 9-11 years old

The Primrose Railway Children illustrated by Rachael Dean (2021)

Inspired by E. Nesbit's classic The Railway Children, in Jacqueline Wilson's brand new tale, siblings Phoebe, Perry, and Becks have to move suddenly with their mum to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere. Their dad has mysteriously disappeared and Phoebe is struggling without him. Then, she and her siblings discover the steam trains at the railway station near them and every day becomes an adventure. But Phoebe can't help but continue to wonder; where is dad? And what is mum hiding? 

Recommended reading age: 8-12 years old

For older readers

Love Frankie illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2020)

Like all 14-year-olds, Frankie is finding teenage life difficult to navigate. Her mum is very ill with MS which means Frankie has had to grow up quicker than most; at school, she’s always trying to avoid Sally and her gang of bullies; and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Frankie will ever fall in love. But then Frankie unexpectedly strikes up a friendship with Sally and the duo begins spending all their time together. Problem is, Frankie is beginning to wonder whether she wants Sally to more than just her friend. She thinks she might want Sally to be her girlfriend… This coming-of-age story about the aches and pains of falling in love for the first time is a touching read.

Recommended reading age: 13+ years old

Listen to an extract of the audiobook

The Illustrated Mum illustrated by Nick Sharratt (1999)

The Illustrated Mum is a raw and powerful story that deals with themes of sisterhood, growing up, and mental health. We’re introduced to two sisters – Dolphin and Star – and their mum, Marigold. Marigold isn’t like other mums; she has tattoos all over her body, bright hair, and wonderful clothes. Marigold may look amazing, but for her daughters – especially Star – living with her unpredictable moods can be tough. Sometimes it seems like the girls are looking after their mum, rather than the other way round. Is Marigold the right person to be looking after them? Important lessons are illustrated in this story of a family. 

Recommended reading age: 11+ years old

Girls In Love illustrated by Nick Sharratt (1997)

Ellie is just about to start Year Nine with her two best friends Magda and Nadine. And she’s got a list of resolutions for the school year including, coming top in art class; stop eating so many Magnum ice-creams; go clubbing, and get a boyfriend. However, as it always is with teenage life, there are lots of ups and downs. Ellie can’t help but compare herself to Magda and Nadine, and soon comes to realise she doesn’t have very much in common with them. This classic tale about life as a teenage girl is heart-warming as well as heart-breaking.

Recommended reading age: 12+ years old

My Sister Jodie illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2008)

A beautiful, turbulent and at times, heart-aching story of family, change and resilience await in My Sister Jodie. For as long as she can remember, Pearl has looked up to her brave and brash sister, Jodie. But when the girls are forced to change school and attend posh boarding school, Melchester College, dynamics between the sisters change. As Pearl becomes more popular, Jodie seems to be getting into more and more trouble. Pearl begins to wonder whether she needs her big sister as much anymore; but when tragedy strikes, that question is answered. 

Recommended reading age: 11+ years old

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