THE STORY OF TRACY BEAKER

Jacqueline Wilson, Author, Nick Sharratt, Illustrator , illus. by Nick Sharratt. Delacorte $15.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-385-72919-2

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.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
Genre: Children's
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