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The Story of Tracy Beaker

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Overview

Introducing Tracy Beaker, 10-year-old girl-wonder and the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress . . . sort of.

Tracy Beaker’s not exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. She has a picture of her mother, who’s pretty enough to be in movies, so maybe she is. And maybe one day Tracy’s mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, and together they’ll have fabulous ...
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Story of Tracy Beaker

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Overview

Introducing Tracy Beaker, 10-year-old girl-wonder and the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress . . . sort of.

Tracy Beaker’s not exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. She has a picture of her mother, who’s pretty enough to be in movies, so maybe she is. And maybe one day Tracy’s mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, and together they’ll have fabulous adventures. Then again, maybe she won’t. In the meantime, Tracy’s doing everything she can to take care of herself–even though she has to share her birthday cake with silly Petey Ingham just because they have the same birthday . . . and even though the other girls she lives with are mean and nasty and rude and horrible. Mostly. Then a journalist shows up to write a story about their orphanage, and she and Tracy strike up a special friendship.

In a story written with humor and sensitivity, Tracy emerges as a spirited girl who’s not quite as tough as she lets
everybody think she is.

Ten-year-old Tracy, who lives in a children's home because her mother was forced to give her up, dreams of getting a good foster family where she can be happy until her mother comes back for her.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Publishers Weekly
Tracy lives in a group home for children. She takes solace in writing and in a new friendship with a writer who visits the home for research. PW called this novel an "insightful portrait" of 10-year-old narrator, Tracy, "whose tough-kid veneer is wrenchingly transparent." Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
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)"
From the Publisher
“Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice.” — Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440418078
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,426,283
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.67 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Wilson is a hugely popular author.She has won the prestigious Smarties Prize and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2003

    I would rate this book a 9 out of 10

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    this book is funny and sad i like tracy because she's cool. jacl

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews

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