The story of Tracy Beaker ISBN: 9780385603201
Published by Doubleday, 2001
Tracy is in care. The book takes the form of the story her social worker has encouraged her to write about herself, and Tracy is a writer. She is also an artist, and her personal story becomes very important to her. Tracy is stroppy and difficult and often finds herself in the 'quiet room' at the children's home because she has 'freaked out'. While the tone of her story is light and witty, the glimpses of heartache give it considerable depth. Deserted by her beautiful mum, Tracy is convinced that one day she will return. In fact, Tracy has been rejected by two sets of foster parents; the second couple whom she really liked, sent her away when they discovered they had a baby on the way and were worried about her erratic behaviour. Friends reject her too, and she is extremely lonely and unable to admit it. Crying is excused as 'hay fever', and her bedwetting is 'a little night-time problem'. The adults try very hard, but the chip-on-shoulder is firmly attached. When a real author, Camilla (or Cam) Lawson appears to interview the children at the home, she and Tracy form a relationship of sorts, and Tracy becomes convinced that Cam will foster her, and she will have her happy ending. While Cam really does like Tracy, the story brings no assurance that Tracy will get her wish, and we are left wondering if this plucky and sad little girl will find her 'real home'. The book can be read on several levels, all absorbing.