Posted 20 hours ago

Baby Love

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Joined in 2023

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Shame about Nina and Daniel (both of whom I really liked) but at the same time, I couldn't see how Laura and their lives would fit together again after everything. Nina immediately looks at ease and trying to match her confident friend, Laura agrees to one of the boys walking her home, including a detour on the way. Laura herself does grow as a character when she thinks about the expectation placed on her vs Leon, but that is briefly stated and then never mentioned again really.

We see a different side of this era, following Laura along her path of childhood to early motherhood. Double Act won the prestigious Smarties Medal and the Children’s Book Award as well as being highly commended for the Carnegie Medal. Set in the 1960s, before sex education in schools was the norm, a time when unmarried mothers were pitied and shamed and teen pregnancies were hidden from society - girls often left with little support from family and authorities and had no choice but to give up their babies - the story follows Laura, a bright only child from a poor background with a scholarship to the local grammar school. Her prefab home is undoubtedly the nicest in their area, but still is in a street dubbed 'Shantytown' by her Grammar School classmates. Polly Crosby tells ReadingZone about her novel, This Tale is Forbidden (Scholastic), a fractured fairy tale set in a dystopian world.

Aspirations to keep up with a wealthy friend are agonizing, and result in a huge mistake that she doesn’t even realise she’s making.

She makes bonds that get her through what will be the hardest time of her short life, but ultimately make her strong, resilient and determined to fight for what she feels is right. In 2002 Jacqueline was awarded the OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she was the Children’s Laureate.I’m not sure if the author is now writing for a different type of teenager than 20 years ago or if I am reading her book as a person who has experienced things I never expected 20 years ago but this did not feel like a ‘teen read’. Wilson's afterword and resources for readers affected by the story make it a valuable educational read for teenagers. The book looks at quite challenging topics such as consent, abuse and forced adoption yet does so in a way which a younger reader will be able to absorb it without being traumatised. She has written over 100 books and is the creator of characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather.

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