Baby Love is the 100th book from Jacqueline Wilson, and perhaps this iconic children’s novelist toughest read of all. Set in the 1960s, Laura, 14, experiences teen pregnancy, family troubles and toxic friendships. She lives on a rough estate with little money and is often teased in school. Desperately trying to fit in, Laura befriends popular girl Nina who changes her life forever.
What follows is a well-paced, emotional and intermittently heartwarming journey, one which will teach the value of families and friendships look like, the importance of consent and a good sex education. Laura’s defining quality is her love of literature: she mostly reads classics that have been left on her dad’s coach, mirroring her reality. She’s a unique girl with huge potential but is cast away to keep a secret.
The tiny illustrations that accompany the beginning of chapters remind readers the tale follows a young girl, as Laura’s advanced literacy enables readers to forget her youth. Moreover, the story is followed by two notes from Adoption UK and the Schools Consent Project for anyone who may have been affected by the tale. Baby Love is not suitable for Wilson’s more typical younger audience – it is an original piece whose characters will stick with you for a long time.
Baby Love, Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin)
Price: £14.99. Info: here
words EMILY WHITEHOUSE
Advertise with us.
We have a range of options across print and digital.