The Best Book News Ever: Tracy Beaker is back.

Monday morning was typically grey and pretty rainy (yuck, the worst kind) until I happened to stumble across an article on The Guardian website that made me do a little dance of joy in my living room. 

Jacqueline Wilson (aka my heroine, my idol and it's no exaggeration to say - the saviour of my teenage years) has announced that she is writing a sequel to one of my all-time-favourite books, The Story of Tracy Beaker. And suddenly it isn't just me who is doing a questionable living-room-dance-of-joy, but teenagers of the noughties all over the country.

My Mum Tracy Beaker is due to be published in October (Gah! Seven months away!) and will be told from the perspective of Tracy's nine year old daughter, Jess. Tracy is a single mum who is struggling to raise her daughter and make ends meet whilst living on a housing estate in London.

Hearing this news was like having Christmas come early for me, I was absolutely thrilled. So much so that I even got on the phone to my Mum straight away to share my excitement; she herself also knowing the story off-by-heart after letting me read it to her approximately 10909382 billion times as a nine year old.
And don't even get me started on the TV series. I was addicted (Yes, I recorded all of the episodes from when they were on CBBC, learnt the soundtrack off by heart and even subscribed to the Tracy Beaker magazine...In my defence it came with DVDs of the series. So there.)

So what was it about The Story of Tracy Beaker that I loved so much? There are many, many things; including, but not limited to, her crazy hair, the way she loved telling people to 'bog off' and her feistiness.
The world that this insecure ten year old girl had found herself in must have been overwhelmingly terrifying (and that's just dealing with Elaine the Pain.) I always admired the way she fronted things out - despite how she may have been feeling on the inside, on her numerous return trips to the Dumping Ground.
As a slightly insecure ten-year-old myself I remember wishing I had Tracy's confidence and sassiness. I wanted to be friends with her, I wanted us to write adventures together and I wanted to fly into the Dumping Ground, watch Justine Littlewood eat worms and rescue Tracy and have her come and live with me.
Interestingly enough, I was surprised to read in The Guardian article, Jacqueline Wilson states that it was difficult to sell rights to the books because 'Beaker wasn't seen as aspirational...She wasn't pretty and she wasn't good.' How crazy to think that this was once the case, because as a nine-year-old bookworm I found Tracy to be extremely aspirational, despite her circumstances and the difficult subject matter surrounding her as a character.

I can't wait to be re-united with Tracy after all these years (27 since the original book was published and roughly fifteen years since I read my copy - time for a re-read, I think...) However, this news did get me thinking and I had my own hopes, dreams and expectations for Tracy. What's happened to Cam? Is she still in touch with Louise? And Peter ('weed') - what happened to him? And, dare I say it...The dreaded Justine Littlewood?

I think I need to stop talking about this now because I'm getting more excited than could be considered healthy.
However, I will finish up be reiterating how much I love Jacqueline Wilson. This lady is my idol and has remained so ever since I read Double Act at primary school. I quickly became hooked on her books and grew up with them...I will never forget the feeling of excitement when she released a new story and I would put it straight on my Christmas wish-list. It is awe-inspiring that she is still writing hugely successful children's books all these years later (she's now 72 and this will be her 108th book!)

Naturally I hope that Tracy gets her happy ending, but this remains to be seen. One thing I am sure of, however, is that Tracy will be an absolutely cracking mum.

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