Double Act -- Jacqueline Wilson
More people need to know about Jacqueline Wilson. Sure, she's the Children's Laureate in England, but that doesn't mean that very many kids here in the US read her. I know that we all used to recommend her books at the Monkey, but that's just one little store. We only have one of her books at my library, and the one we have sure isn't the one I would have picked. (If I could only pick one, I'd go with The Illustrated Mum. Or The Lottie Project. Okay, okay. Or Bad Girls.)
Anyway, she rules. She's kind of an up-to-date edgier British version of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary rolled into one. Most of her books are written for the 8-12 year old range, but they aren't treacly at all. They're realistic. Really realistic. Even though they can be dark, and they can be angry, they're usually funny, too.
For example, Double Act. Think of other books about twins. The Sweet Valley High series. The Bobbsey Twins. The Mary-Kate & Ashley books. They're all gag-worthy. Sweet, syrupy and annoying. Except for The Bobbsey Twins, they have their conflicts, sure, but overall? Lame.
But when Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt (the illustrator) sit down to write a book about twins, we get something completely different. Just look at the first page. Impossible to resist, right?