The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

'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.'

An illustration of social worker Elaine with Tracy Beaker who is smiling at her
Illustration: Nick Sharratt | The Story of Tracy Beaker

'Now look, Tracy,' said Elaine. 'This is your own special book about you, something that you're going to keep forever. You don't want to spoil it by writing all sorts of silly cheeky rude things in it, do you?'

I said, 'It's my life and it hasn't been very special so far, has it, so why shouldn't I write any old rubbish?'

Then she sighed again, but sympathetically this time, and she put her arm round me and said, 'Hey, I know you've had a hard time, but you 're very special. You know that, don't you?'

I shook my head and tried to wriggle away. 'Yes, you are, Tracy. Very very special,' Elaine said, hanging on to me.

'Then if I'm so very very special how come no-one wants me?' I said.

'Oh dear, I know it must have been very disappointing for you when your second placement went wrong, love, but you mustn't let it depress you too much. Sooner or later you'll find the perfect placement.'

'A fantastic rich family?'

'Maybe a family. Or maybe a single person, if someone really suitable came along.'

I gave her this long look. 'You're single, Elaine. And I bet you're suitable. So why don't you foster me, eh?'

It was her turn to wriggle then.


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