The Story of Tracy Beaker

The Story of Tracy Beaker

4.6 3
by Nick Sharratt
     
 

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TRACY BEAKER'S NOT exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. Maybe one day Tracy’s mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, but in the meantime, Tracy’s doing everything she can to take care of herself—even though she has to share her birthday cake. Then a journalist shows

Overview

TRACY BEAKER'S NOT exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. Maybe one day Tracy’s mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, but in the meantime, Tracy’s doing everything she can to take care of herself—even though she has to share her birthday cake. Then a journalist shows up to write a story about their orphanage, and she and Tracy strike up a special friendship.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice.” -- Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
Wilson (Double Act; Bad Girls) presents an insightful portrait of 10-year-old Tracy in the girl's own words. Readers initially make her acquaintance through entries in a fill-in book entitled "My Book About Me." Her revelations are by turn caustic, funny and heartbreaking. Living in a group home for children after two unsuccessful stints in foster homes, Tracy repeatedly expresses her fervent hope and pitiable conviction that her roaming, much-idolized mother will appear to take her away. "There's not much point making friends because I expect to be moving on soon," resolves the heroine, whose tough-kid veneer is wrenchingly transparent. An aspiring author, Tracy takes solace in her autobiographical writing and her new friendship with Cam, a writer who visits the home while researching an article. Despite Tracy's passionate attempts to persuade Cam to take her in as a foster child, her fate is uncertain at the close of the novel. Yet her indomitable spirit and grit leaves little doubt that she will end up on top. Sharratt's drawings help to keep the mood light, as Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jacqueline Wilson has created a character that is destined to endure in the minds and hearts of her readers. Tracy is a ten-year-old girl living in a home for children. She has already been placed in numerous foster homes, none of which has worked out for her. As a consequence, she has developed a hard exterior posture of seeming not to care about anyone or anything. Her deepest fantasy is that her mother, whom she imagines as a glamorous star, will return any moment and sweep her away. Tracy's outlet is writing in her journal. As the story progresses, Tracy meets a writer named Cam. Tracy develops the idea that Cam should foster her, but Cam is quite definite that such a plan is out of the question. The two develop somewhat of a friendship, but Tracy's fantasy remains. The book ends suddenly, so the reader never finds out if Tracy and Cam get together or not. This rather abrupt ending was the only thing that was not enjoyable about the book. Wilson was born in Bath, England. This book was first published in 1991 in England, where it was short listed for the Smarties Prize, one of the most respected book prizes in the UK. BBC sponsors a Tracy Beaker website that includes, among other features, parent and teacher resources to accompany the book. This book is recommended for good readers, especially with those struggling with their own problems. Tracy can help such children see effective and ineffective ways of approaching emotional pain. 2002 (orig. 1991), Dell Yearling/Random House, Ages 7 to 11.
— Kathy Egner, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-A first-person narrative about a bright and feisty girl. Tracy has spent most of her life in the British foster-care system, always fantasizing that her mother will come back for her. When Cam, a writer, comes to the home to do research for an article, she and Tracy connect. Not intimidated by the angry 10-year-old's tantrums and fibs, Cam exerts a positive influence on Tracy, who finally makes overtures of friendship to some of the other kids. Tracy is at times a tough character to like-she is rude, sarcastic, and unfriendly. However, perceptive readers will quickly see beneath the outrageous tales and bravado a vulnerable youngster desperate to be loved. The book ends rather abruptly, with Tracy asking Cam to be her foster parent, but readers will be glad to know a sequel is imminent. Sharratt's witty cartoonlike drawings enliven this universal tale of a child struggling to belong. Readers will root for Tracy, who never admits to tears, only to attacks of hay fever. A well-paced and involving novel in which a memorable character learns to cope better with her very real problems.-B. Allison Gray, South Country Library, Bellport, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wilson pushes so much pain between the lines of this portrait of a foster child with the personality of a steamroller that it comes off less a lightweight tribute to human resilience than a pathos-ridden tale of children acting out as they nurse profound inner wounds. Ever ready to lash out verbally or physically, Tracy swaggers through her account of life in the group home to which her second pair of foster parents have returned her, meanwhile leaning heavily on the thin hope that her long-gone mother will return to her. Readers will easily see through all the tough talk to the vulnerability within, as she browbeats Peter, a younger housemate, while drawing on personal experience to help him cope with persistent bedwetting; passes from denial through defiance to trying for a truce after breaking archrival Justine's most prized possession (a cheap alarm clock from her father); and goes relentlessly to work on Cam, a visiting journalist, to take her as a foster child. Interspersed line drawings done in a childlike style, and letters exchanged by Tracy and Cam, fail to lift the heavy mood. By the end, Cam has still not come around-but readers may be too annoyed by Tracy's rude, aggressive character to care. "(Fiction. 10-12)"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440418078
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
950,114
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.67(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Wilson has written over 70 books for young readers of all ages. In England, she has won the Children’s Book of the Year Award for Double Act, The Suitcase Kid, and Girls in Tears.

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Story of Tracy Beaker 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is funny and sad i like tracy because she's cool. jaclin wilson is my FAVOURITE this is the first book i read by her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would rate it that because it just ended. It didn¿t really have such a good ending. All the Jacqueline Wilson books I¿ve read did the same thing. It just ended. Otherwise it was a really good book. The book makes you never want to stop reading. It is really exciting and fun to read. I really like The Story Of Tracy Beaker. My favorite (or FAVOURITE) character is Tracy. Tracy is my favorite character because she reminds me of my friend Louisa. She reminds me of my friend Louisa because they both can be really stubborn sometimes and they are both really fun. I mean I don¿t know Tracy is fun because I haven¿t met her but she seems fun. I would recommend it to all the girls in our class. I don¿t think the boys would like it so much.