Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Jacqueline Wilson

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti points to a wonderful article in today's Slate about Jacqueline Wilson.

Moira Redmond discusses "Who Is Jacqueline Wilson?" and why Ms. Wilson is not very popular in the U.S., when she is one of Britain's favorite children's writers. I have also always wondered this. Wilson's books are amusing and down-to-earth. Her young protagonists are both "unusual" and "normal" and often have to deal with difficult situations--situations created by unbalanced parents, school situations, and other such problems of everyday life (no dragons here). I adore The Illustrated Mum, a book every British young girl/woman under the age of 25 must have read at least once.

So why aren't Wilson's books read much in the U.S.? Redmond thinks this is because young Americans haven't found the books themselves yet and that Wilson's books are the type kids like more than their parents do (though Redmond makes a good argument for adults reading these books too). "If young Americans could find them for themselves, they'd probably love them" Redmond concludes. I agree, though I do think because Wilson's novels contain a lot of U.K. slang, a glossary may be in order for U.S. youngsters not familiar with British English.