Jacqueline Wilson has formed an important part of the British children’s literature landscape in the last 20 years. She has published well over 100 titles, ranging from picture books for very young readers (Ricky’s Birthday 1973; Lizzie Zipmouth, 2000) to challenging young adult fiction (The Dream Palace, 1991; Love Lessons, 2005). Although best known as a writer of social realism (most notably The Story of Tracy Beaker, 1991 and its sequels), she has also written fantasy (Glubbslyme, 1987; Four Children and It, 2012) and historical fiction (Hetty Feather, 2011; Queenie, 2013). Since 1997, Wilson has occupied a place among the top 20 children’s authors borrowed from public libraries, and in 2002 she ousted Catherine Cookson from the top spot of most-borrowed author across both adults’ and children’s books.1 Wilson’s books regularly top the bestseller lists — she had the fourth highest UK sales in the first decade of the millennium — and a 2005 survey of children’s reading habits identified Wilson as one of the top three favourite authors (alongside J. K. Rowling and Roald Dahl).2 This is reflected in Wilson’s regular appearance on the shortlists of awards chosen by child readers themselves: her awards include the Red House Children’s Book Award (1996), the Smarties Prize (1995, 2000) and the Blue Peter People’s Choice Award (2002).
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