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Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Tracy Beaker’ Sequel Sparks Debate About Portrayal Of Kids In Care

Jacqueline Wilson‘s sequel to her famous ‘The Story Of Tracy Beaker’ has prompted a debate online about the fact the central character ends up being a “struggling single mother”.

The original fiction book, published in 1991, followed Tracy, a 10-year-old girl in a care home, where she was placed as a result of neglect. Wilson announced on 11 March that the much-loved character is back, “as a single mum fighting to make ends meet”. In an interview with the Guardian, Wilson explained the new boo, published 27 years later – ‘My Mum Tracy Beaker’ – reads from the point of view of Tracy’s nine-year-old daughter, Jess.

“Being Tracy, she wants to be independent, but with a child, how can she be? So she’s having to scratch around,” Wilson explained. Responding to comments on the announcement tweet, some fans felt disheartened that Tracy was “doomed” and didn’t end up being a “success story”.

Would it not be a more positive story to make Tracey Beaker a success following her time in care?

— Sam Burgess (@tattooedsam77) March 11, 2018

aw can’t Tracy get a happy ending? showing kids in care can grow up to be live happy fulfilled lives.. maybe

— Vote René ! (@ThatsSoRene) March 11, 2018

This offends me and my childhood

— kat (@ChokingOnMyHalo) March 11, 2018

I’m a bit upset it didn’t work out for Tracy though

— Cassie humphreys (@xxrugby_girlxx) March 12, 2018

However others argued that just because Tracy Beaker is struggling to make ends meet, does not mean she is not a “success”.

Also the fact that she’s a single Mum struggling to meet ends meet does not mean she’s not a ‘success’

— Rachel Lewis (@RMLLLL) March 11, 2018

Success is relative. Success is not just monetary value. It’s also accomplishments and small goals achieved to aid of your dreams

— Graça (@yourgirlG) March 13, 2018

Yes she’s a single mum and fighting to make ends meet like a lot of mums in the Uk and world over- this can and will be a success story. What are we trying to say? She needs to be married and in a relationship to symbolise success? Come on? Success can look varied 🙄

— Selina- AMALIAH.COM (@Selina_Bakkar) March 11, 2018

In a previous interview with HuffPost UK, Wilson said she always wanted to make sure the characters in her books were realistic. “I loved my books as a child but I do remember feeling like the children weren’t real enough,” she said at the time.

“I was in a respectable working class family living in a council flat and I was perfectly aware that these backgrounds in the books weren’t my background. I was able to write the sort of things that reflected life around me or the things I was interested in. I do think other books were avoiding these issues and it was something I had to write about.”

Many of Wilson’s fans simply expressed their happiness about the news of the sequel.


— Glittered ‘Princess (@KAYsssssT) March 11, 2018


— cels (@celsc13) March 12, 2018

@AliceNutt1 😍 We HAVE to read this! pic.twitter.com/oO3y0weZuF

— Jemma Bunce (@MissJBunce) March 12, 2018

HuffPost UK has contacted Wilson about the reaction to her book and will update this piece upon her response.

Also on HuffPost