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Book Reviews: Queenie, by Jacqueline Wilson

Book Reviews: Queenie, by Jacqueline Wilson
Queenie by Jacqueline Wilson
Published by Doubleday Children's on 31 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover
The brilliant new book from bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson, set in the children's ward of a 1950s hospital.

It's 1953, the year Elizabeth is to be crowned Queen of England. Elsie Kettle can't wait to go to London to see the celebrations on Coronation Day. Elsie lives with her Nan - her mum works as a showgirl, so she's not around very often. Spirited and imaginative, but often lonely, Elsie longs for a best friend. Luckily, she and Nan are very close; Elsie just wishes she was allowed a cat to keep her company sometimes.

Then tragedy strikes. Nan and Elsie both fall ill with tuberculosis, and Elsie finds herself whisked away to the children's ward of the hospital. Confined to bed for months on end, Elsie finds it very hard to adapt to the hospital's strict regime. But she invents astonishing ways of entertaining the other children on the ward, and for the first time finds herself surrounded by true friends - including Queenie, the hospital's majestic white cat.

Finally, Elsie is well enough to leave hospital. But before she does, she has one very special, very unexpected visitor...

Bella Davis, 17, reviews.

In all honesty I am not the biggest fan of Jacqueline Wilson, although most people love her books, as she tends to write about family problems.


Like most people I am guilty of judging a book by its cover and what I look for in most covers is no hints, I most love covers that tell you hardly anything about what is going to happen in the book. I love simple covers. I like to be able to use my own imagination to think up what the characters look like. Sadly the cover of ‘Queenie’ shows Elsie and her feline friend who happens to share the same name as the Queen herself.


I was pleasantly surprised with ‘Queenie’ and thoroughly enjoyed this lovely read. Funnily enough I was actually able to relate to this book as Elsie and her Nan are always drinking tea, which is my pastime. Ironically last year I had operations on both my knees and so can completely understand Elsie’s frustration, which she finds with her knee and limp.


Having recently celebrated the Queens Diamond Jubilee back in 2012, all of Great Britain was very patriotic, including myself. The only difference here is that ‘Queenie’ is set in 1953. Elsie and her Nan have been saving up for a long time to be able to travel to London to watch the coronation but when they both fall sick and have to stay in separate hospitals Elsie fears she will no longer be able to go. But don’t worry the very generous Sir David makes sure Elsie gets to watch the coronation. Nan must stay in a sanitorium whilst Elsie is whisked off to the beautiful Milltree Hospital under the watchful eye of Nurse Patterson and caring hands of Nurse Gabriel. I love the fact that Elsie’s favourite Nurse is the wonderful Nurse Gabriel but I think I am slightly biased as my name is Gabriella. Elsie has always had trouble making friends, but in the hospital when you are bed bound there is nothing else you really can do. Even the horrid Martin becomes a friend. Much to Elsie’s dismay, her gorgeous showgirl mother has to come back onto the scene to look after her, however she has never been one for commitment and so when Elsie fully recovers and her mum is off somewhere in Canada, what is she to do apart from stick around as long as possible making herself useful?


If you want a read that is sure to put a smile on your face and remind you just how powerful stories and your imagination is then this is the book for you.




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