Favourite first author: Jacqueline Wilson
I want to write a blog post dedicated to Jacqueline Wilson. I think this was the first author whose portfolio of books I completely fell in love with. As a 12 year old, trying to figure out what the world was all about – Jacqueline Wilson’s books was like a grown up holding your hand but through the eyes of a teenager, introducing life topics to you in colourful and relevant way. (With the help of the amazing Nick Sharratt).
By reading JW’s books, I was not only connecting with teenage characters who were similar to me, but I was also learning so much along the way. JW’s books are the perfect children’s books for a curious child. I remember inhaling them, completely gripped in my own little world, wanting nothing but to be alone reading her books and devouring every page. She touches on topics that aren’t all light-hearted, most of the characters are children that are troubled in some way. In Double Act (1995) two twins are struggling with their relationship with each other and the death of their mother. In Tracy Beaker (1991) she brings in the reality of foster care and what it is like for Tracy to only have faint memories of her mum. In the Illustrated Mum (1999) the book is through the eyes of a child who has to deal with a very young parent who is sometimes unreliable. Family is a big theme in her books but more about the teenagers who appear moody but for a variety of different reasons.
My favourite books from what I can remember from that period of my life was the Girls In Love (1997) as this touched on sex but not directly. JW introduces the concept of meeting the opposite sex, rebelling at school, following the lead of the most popular girl at school. It also addresses the insecurities of being 13 years old and not really knowing how to go about being yourself. It highlights the pressures that come with general life and making the transition into being a teenager.
I definitely want to remember these books as being my first introduction to how stories can help you learn and also play a role in comforting you. Jacqueline Wilson is an amazing writer with such admirable talent at being able get on a level with teenagers, at a time they need it most.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic