How we made The Story of Tracy Beaker

Jacqueline Wilson, author

I’d been writing children’s books for a while, but they had mostly disappeared without a trace. One day, I saw an advert for foster children – and there were photographs of them. I was taken aback by this whole page of children smiling rather desperately and I couldn’t help thinking: “What a horrible thing to see these children advertised like this.” I realised I could write about one of these kids because I could imagine how it must feel. Almost immediately, this feisty little girl came into my head, and Tracy Beaker was born.

I called her care home the Dumping Ground and focused the story on Tracy’s friendships with the other kids living there, all trying to have normal lives in some pretty extraordinary circumstances. Throughout, there was the story of Tracy’s relationship with her eventual adoptive mother, Cam, as she tries to understand why she ended up in care.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 11/05/20]