Sunday 5 February 2012

36. Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson

Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson
Published February 2012 Random House

From the publisher:

Lily isn't home ALONE - but she sort of wishes she was; looking after her three younger siblings is a lot of responsibility. When Mum goes off on holiday with her new boyfriend and her stepdad fails to show up, Lily is determined to keep the family together and show they can cope without any grown-ups. But taking care of 6-year-old twins, her 3-year-old sister and the family's flat feels overwhelming and Lily is worried that school or social services might discover their situation and break up the family. What could be better than to take all the little ones for a camping adventure in the park? Plenty of space to run about, no carpet to vacuum, and surely no chance anyone will guess they're there . . .

There is no doubt...girls LOVE Jacqueline Wilson. From about age 11 and on they can't get enough of her.  Her books can be bleak and confronting...but they are hard to put down.

In this book, as you read in the blurb, Mum had gone and left Lily with her three siblings in the capable hands of Mikey (Baxter's Dad).  She doesn't actually speak to Mikey, just leaves him a message on his voice mail, and off she goes.  Lily doesn't like Mikey, so when he does call back she doesn't tell him they are on their own, he doesn't question it too much... and so it begins. 
Lily decides they won't go to school because Bliss won't be able to keep the secret of them being on their own, so while Mum's on holiday, they have their own holiday at home.  They have little money, so they run out of food quickly, and they eat scraps left on the table at a cafe.  They also have no house keys, so they either stay in the flat or hope that no-one robs them if they go out and leave the door unlocked.  Eventually Lily decides it will be better if they go and live in the park. It's not.  I won't give too much more away, but I will say that Lily has a very lovely teacher, who sticks his nose in where he shouldn't (but I am glad he did!).

The story is good, and you do engage with the 'old beyond her years' Lily, as a reader you are compelled to keep reading because you want to know that this family will be OK. 
I hope most readers will read it, and think to themselves how lucky they are to have nice homes, plenty to eat and parents who put their children first...of course there will be readers who read this story and identify with Lily, and that is heartbreaking.

Have a look at this amazing book trailer to get a real feel for the book.

Who will like this book: Girls age 11+
Read it if you like: Cathy Cassidy

No comments:

Post a Comment