This children’s novel is written in a very clever style – the whole book takes the form of a diary which has been given to the titular Tracy Beaker so that she can record her thoughts and feelings to try and stop her from having any angry outbursts. It’s a very believable structure and gives us a very personal insight into Tracy’s mind. You really feel like you know her.
With that in mind, Tracy Beaker is a little girl living in an orphanage, which she calls “The Dumping Ground”. She’s disillusioned with the whole system after having gone through various foster families and deludes herself into thinking that her mother will one day come back for her. She talks about her life there, her relationships with the other children and, eventually, her desire to be adopted it after she meets an adult woman she quite likes.
It’s quite a short novel, but I thought it was so beautifully written. Tracy felt so real. I really wanted things to work out for her, because she’d had such a tough life. Though she acts out and puts on a tough front around people, she’s a very vulnerable child who struggles to deal with the feelings of rejection which followed her mother abandoning her.
At times Tracy jokes around and indulges the reader with her fantasies, which can be genuinely funny. Although it is all a little marred by the sadness of her life, particularly because she is usually silly or jokey when she’s trying to hide her feelings.
It’s a very emotional book from start to finish and a very rewarding read. You feel Tracy’s deep sadness throughout the book, but then when good things happen and she starts to feel genuinely happy, you feel it just as profoundly. I enjoyed every page and I came to the end looking forward to read future instalments in the series.