Jacqueline Wilson tackles several big issues in #121 Lola Rose, and does it with aplomb, as usual. I definitely recommend the book.
Running away from her abusive father, Jayni, her mother and little brother take on new names and new identities. However, even as Lola Rose Jayni finds that life hasn’t changed much and when her mother gets cancer it seems like her father will soon be back in their lives.
When writing reviews, I try to avoid giving out any spoilers or plot information which isn’t on the cover (front or back) or in the first chapter or so. One of the interesting things about Wilson’s books is that the summaries are often include spoilers – like the mention of cancer, above – for quite far into the books. I imagine this is so that responsible adults will be able to tell at a glance what kids are reading and be ready to field difficult questions.
In this specific case, I think it’s a good idea as Wilson’s books (I’m discovering) nearly always touch on serious subjects. In general, I have mixed views – on the one hand, I would quite like warnings on books so I can avoid wasting my money and time but I hate spoilers and am well aware that the warnings I’d like are implausible (“in the future, women will be in the kitchen” “space: white people only” “really badly written” “has not been copy edited”).
My favourite hero
Jayni / Lola Rose has it rough, and I was impressed throughout with how practical, sensible and brave she was. The character seemed entirely plausible, reminding me of certain friends I had at school, and I think she provides an excellent role model. I’m happy to conclude my week of heroics with a whole-hearted recommendation: this is what I think heroism is: doing what’s right as best you can, even when you’re scared or broke or small or powerless. Even when you can’t win.