The Best Sleepover in the World by Jacqueline Wilson

The Best Sleepover in the World is the long-awaited sequel to Jacqueline Wilson’s hugely popular Sleepovers.

Jacqueline Wilson

Following the events at Daisy’s birthday, Chloe has shunned the group and announced to the rest of the class that she will be hosting the BEST sleepover in the world. It’s all just a ploy to get the girls to gang up against Daisy. But with a luxury swimming pool, special makeovers and a guest appearance from a social media superstar, it looks like Emily, Amy and Bella may be drawn back into Chloe’s orbit…

An illustration by Rachael Dean from The Best Sleepover in the World showing Emily, Daisy, Lily and Natalie all enjoying a sleepover at Daisy and Lily's house. All the girls are in bed watching a film together.
Illustration: Rachael Dean | The Best Sleepover in the World

Chapter One

It’s a bit rubbish when you move and have to go to a new school. Everyone else has had years to make friends. You’re just the new girl who hasn’t got any friends. But on my very first day Emily was so kind.

She saw me hovering at the edge of the classroom, came up to me and asked my name. I mumbled ‘Daisy’ and she said she liked flower names. Then she said, ‘I think your plaits look great. I’m trying to grow my hair but it’s taking ages.’

So I said, ‘I think your bunches look really cute,’ and then we smiled at each other.

She lent me her spare pen, showed me where the toilets were at playtime and said I could sit on her table at lunchtime because there was an empty seat.

Three other girls sat with Emily: Amy, Bella and Chloe. Amy had a special way of saying hello to me, which involved a lot of clapping hands and high-fiving. I got the hang of it the second time, and she said I was a quick learner.

Bella gave me a square of chocolate from her packed lunch. We’re not supposed to bring any chocolate to school, and the Dinner Lady Police confiscate it if they spot it, but Bella’s brilliant at hiding it in her pocket.

Umm! I’m telling on both of you,’ said Chloe. She waved her hand in the air to attract the attention of the frowniest dinner lady, who was busy mopping up a puddle on the floor because two boys had been mucking about with their glasses of water. ‘Miss! Miss, can you come over here, please?’ Chloe called.

My heart started thumping underneath my new uniform. I’d only been at this school half a day and already I was in trouble.

The dinner lady came stomping over, her lips pressed together so tightly her mouth disappeared. I thought I was definitely in for it – and poor Bella. But Chloe simply looked up at the dinner lady, opening her eyes wide and giving her a sweet smile.

‘Sorry to trouble you, miss, but the new girl wants a drink of water though she’s too shy to ask,’ said Chloe, quick as a flash.

The dinner lady tutted. ‘You just fetch yourself a glass from that table on the side, silly,’ she said, and went back to mopping.

Chloe giggled. ‘Your faces, you two!’ she said. ‘I was only joking. Better give me the rest of your chocolate though, Bell, or I might tell.’

Bella stuck her tongue out at her, not looking too bothered – but she gave her the chocolate anyway. Emily looked upset. She didn’t say anything, but she felt for my hand under the table and gave it a little squeeze.

‘Sorry about that. Chloe likes to play jokes,’ she muttered to me when we went out into the playground. ‘She doesn’t really mean to be horrid.’

Yes she did. Chloe was clearly The Boss. And, worst of all, Emily was clearly her best friend.

We were this awkward fivesome for a while, Amy and Bella and Emily and Chloe and me. It was sheer bliss when Chloe was off school for a week with flu. It was probably just a sniffle. Chloe’s parents are always fussing over her – especially her dad.

I was free to be proper friends with Emily. We liked doing exactly the same things. We loved reading and making up our own stories and colouring. We told each other our secrets. Emily said she was really fed up with her baby brother, Ben, because he yelled all the time, though she supposed he couldn’t help it because he was only little. I almost told her about my sister, Lily, who can’t walk or talk. She used to yell a lot too, though not so much now she’s at her new school. I suppose she can’t help it when she gets upset either. But I didn’t want to talk about Lily. Not yet. What if Emily was funny about it?

An illustration by Rachael Dean from The Best Sleepover in the World showing best friends Emily and Daisy bumping their elbows together
Illustration: Rachael Dean | The Best Sleepover in the World

Emily said she didn’t want to be friends with Chloe any more because she could be so mean.

‘Then why don’t you break friends with her and be my best friend?’ I asked.

I knew why. She was a bit scared of Chloe. Actually, so was I. But we didn’t have to be scared of her ANYMORE!

We all had birthdays during the summer term. Amy had a sleepover with a huge chocolate birthday cake, and we danced and painted our nails, and I thought it was the best sleepover party ever.

Then Bella had a birthday sleepover and she had a fantastic swimming-pool cake, and we went swimming at the leisure centre, then we all crammed into a big double bed and got the giggles. I thought that was the best sleepover party ever.

Then Emily had a birthday sleepover and had a teddy-bear birthday cake, and we played football. I got to share Emily’s bed and I knew that simply had to be the best sleepover party ever.

Then Chloe had a sleepover party and deliberately didn’t invite me. Emily said she didn’t want to go to Chloe’s sleepover if I couldn’t come. Amy and Bella said they wouldn’t attend Chloe’s sleepover party either. So then Chloe invited me too, and I went to her sleepover in her big, posh house.

We made our own pizzas but Chloe spoiled mine. She had an amazing birthday cake with three layers, but I didn’t dare eat a single mouthful because I thought Chloe might have done something to my slice. I couldn’t share a bed with Emily. I didn’t share a bed with anyone. I was stuck in an old sleeping bag by myself. That was definitely the WORST sleepover ever.

I had a birthday cake in the shape of a daisy for my sleepover. Emily met Lily for the first time. I was worried but Emily was lovely to her. Lily liked her too – and Amy and Bella. But then Lily got frightened and had to be put to bed before Chloe arrived.

We watched a movie Chloe had given me – but it was SCARY – and then Chloe laughed at us for being scared. It looked like my own sleepover was turning into the worst sleepover in the world. But Dad put up a tent in the garden and we slept out there, and it was FUN. Then Chloe woke up and wanted to go to the loo.

I had to take her indoors to show her where it was. Lily heard and wailed like a ghost – and Chloe was so frightened she cried and WET HERSELF! She had to be taken home even though it was the middle of the night. Emily, Amy, Bella, Lily and I played together in the morning, and it became the BEST sleepover in the world.

And the most amazing thing happened. Chloe broke friends with all of us because she was so embarrassed that we all knew she wet herself. She’s got another little gang of girls now. Emily and I are best friends forever and we go around with Amy and Bella. We steer clear of Chloe and she keeps well away from us.

It was so brilliant – but then...

Chapter Two

Chloe burst into our classroom before school started, her cheeks pink, her blonde hair carefully curled, her little gold stud earrings glinting, her high-heeled shoes clicking (definitely not school uniform policy). She did a little dance in her amazing shoes, ending with a flourish.

‘Ta dah!’ she said, spreading her arms wide.

Her new girly gang clapped her in a sickening way. Not just the girls. Sam and Richard actually cheered. They vie with each other to be Chloe’s boyfriend. Mum says we’re far too young to have boyfriends in junior school. Tell that to Chloe! She tosses her hair and stands with her hand on her hip, as if she’s posing for a photograph. Emily and I roll our eyes and tut but Sam and Richard think she’s fabulous. Pathetic!

‘Hey, listen up, you guys,’ said Chloe. Apparently it’s the way Mattie Rayburn talks. She’s a famous TikTok star who does that Prance Dance. I haven’t actually seen her because Mum won’t let me have my own mobile yet and she doesn’t have TikTok on her phone.

Amy’s big sisters have taught her to do the Prance Dance and she’s shown us. It’s very complicated. Emily and I can’t do it properly yet. Chloe laughs her head off at us and calls us losers. Who cares? At least we don’t wet ourselves.

No one was ‘listening up’ except the Girl Gang and Sam and Richard. Chloe clapped her hands imperiously.

Listen, I said. You’ll never ever guess what,’ she announced, tossing her curls.

My hair goes a bit like that when I undo my plaits, but it’s not quite as fluffy. It’s very annoying having to admit it, but Chloe has lovely hair.

‘What, Chloe?’ the Girl Gang begged in a chorus.

‘Tell us, Chloe,’ said Sam.

Richard simply gazed at her adoringly. I’m not sure he wants to be her actual boyfriend. I think he wants to be her.

‘Well!’ said Chloe. ‘I’m only going to have the best sleepover party in the entire world.’

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