Fortunately for Jacqueline Wilson fans, her new books seem to come along a lot more regularly than JK Rowling’s do, and for this latest, fantastic bittersweet slice of life offering they should again be grateful. Lola Rose is typical Wilson–a story of normal family strife, situations and feelings bound together with extraordinarily uplifting solutions that leave the reader with a tear in their eye and a smile on their lips.
Lola Rose is definitely one for her older readers, however. Jayni, her mum and little brother Kenny are forced to flee their family home when Jayni’s dad starts hitting her too–as if it wasn’t enough that he battered his wife about already. A desperate flight to London is made bearable when Jayni’s mum wins £10,000 on a lottery scratch card and treats everybody to whatever they want. It’s a chance to start again and have an adventure–and to forget. They even get to pick new names so that they can hide better. Jayni picks out “Lola Rose”–an exotic-sounding name she finds in one of the magazines she is so fond of cutting up and pasting into her scrapbooks.
But the lottery money doesn’t last forever and Lola’s mum finds it harder than she thought being away from her husband. However, it’s definitely the start of something better for everyone despite a few hiccups along the way.
Jacqueline Wilson is a mega-star among children’s authors. Her books are consistently unputdownable and Lola Rose exemplifies her skill at stirring the emotions in an unforgettable story that is sure to win her even more accolades. (Age 12 and over) —John McLay