Arab Today, arab today children\s books special interview with jacqueline wilson
Last Updated : GMT 08:29:54
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Children\'s Books Special: Interview with Jacqueline Wilson

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Children\'s Books Special: Interview with Jacqueline Wilson

London - Arabstoday

Few children growing up in the past 20 years won’t have heard of Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Her books would make Chris Mullin happy (they certainly “zip along”), and usually concern girls dealing with family problems and school life. Perhaps her most famous character is Tracy Beaker, who has her own television show. So it may come as a surprise to discover that Wilson has turned her hand to historical fiction, in the form of Hetty Feather, whose title character is a young foundling. The first book came out in 2009; a sequel, Sapphire Battersea, was published this year, and she is currently working on a third. Yet Wilson is definitely not abandoning modern fiction. “What is delightful is to alternate,” she says, in her gentle, unassuming voice – exactly the sort of voice you’d expect of a children’s author, like a kindly aunt with a bag of boiled sweets. “Delightful” is a word that often springs to her lips. She’s quietly defensive of her fiction, which many parents feel is inappropriate because of its gritty subject matter. It’s impossible, she claims, “to protect children from the realities of life; you only have to eavesdrop on a junior school playground to know that children know precisely what’s going on”. If children don’t have the problems that feature in her books then hearing about them “helps them see something different”. This subtly didactic approach is reflected in Hetty Feather. Bemoaning the way that history is taught in schools (she was amazed to speak to some children who thought the Victorians came after the Egyptians), she says: “I think children, after reading Hetty, have slightly more of an idea about Victorian times.” She believes that heroines such as Florence Nightingale should have much more of a presence in education. So was this part of what caused her to make the move to historical fiction? The impetus came when she took up a post as a Coram Fellow at the Foundling Museum. Always interested in the “strange and fascinating” Victorians (“I’m very much a Victorian girl inside”), her schedule did not allow the necessary research. She became ill, and only then had time “to recline like an invalide”. She read social history, as well as “an obscure Victorian children’s novelist called Mrs Molesworth” (almost as prolific as Wilson – she wrote 100 books); and devoured George Gissing, “a mine of information… although a little goes a long way”. It was a challenge, though – she wanted Hetty Feather to be “readable”, but still have “some air of Victorian authenticity”. As it turns out, she’s had “loads of responses” from readers saying that Hetty is their favourite character. “Basically it means if you’ve got a story about a child going through a hard time but having a good time, and it’s got a strong storyline, ultimately children will want to read it.” Historical fiction has certainly touched a nerve this year in children’s books, particularly with girls, as in Mary Hooper’s Velvet and Angela McAllister’s The Double Life of Cora Parry, both reviewed opposite. Why is this? “Well, I think that it puts things at one remove for children. I wanted to show them that Hetty experiences things the way they do, and she can be as naughty and as miserable as any modern child.” During her research, Wilson spoke to many orphaned children, one of whom had “given herself various different names”. The same happens in Hooper and McAllister’s books, which have heroines similar to Hetty. These girls are vulnerable, imaginative and constantly seeking to reinvent themselves. Hetty believes herself to be the daughter of a circus rider, and even later renames herself (as do the girls in Hooper and McAllister). Wilson laughs, saying that girls always question themselves: “Even nowadays, if girls become, I don’t know – God help us – glamour models or something, frequently there is a change of name as well.” More escapist than her modern fiction, perhaps Hetty also represents a way out for Wilson. “If I turn into a doddery old lady who doesn’t understand anything about modern children, perhaps I will have to write about children in the past,” she says. Plans to present the next Hetty Feather book as the third and last in a “Victorian triple decker” may be disrupted, she says – she’s become quite taken with her flame-haired minx. And what would happen, I ask, if Hetty met one of her modern heroines? “She’d be amazed at the freedom. I think she’d probably suggest that they seize the day, take their chances when; they can – and just realise how lucky they are!

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today children\s books special interview with jacqueline wilson Arab Today, arab today children\s books special interview with jacqueline wilson

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today 11 family members dead in rebel push

GMT 07:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

11 family members dead in rebel push
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 11:49 2016 Monday ,17 October

Turkish film shines light on child brides

GMT 10:42 2016 Friday ,07 October

Rebels' archfoe turned peacemaker

GMT 09:14 2016 Monday ,26 September

Poetry 'can save Arab world'

GMT 07:39 2016 Monday ,11 July

Accused of 'disturbing public peace'

GMT 08:42 2016 Friday ,10 June

Lubna Al Qasimi pays rich tributes to writers

GMT 07:23 2016 Thursday ,19 May

New museum will 'preserve Palestinian memory'
View News in Arabic - Culture: حوارات وتقارير
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday