Lola Rose is a fictional story about a young girl facing many troubles in life, but trying to work through them and keep her family together.
Lola-Rose is written by Jacqueline Wilson and tells the story of a girl, Jayni, her mum and her brother. Jayni’s mum is a victim of domestic violence. After winning £10k on a scratchcard, her partner comes homes drunk and almost hits Jayni. As a result, Mum decides they need to leave and they travel to London. They change their names (hence the title Lola-Rose) and Jayni feels a different, more glamorous person. However, the money decreases, especially with Mum’s need to have a man in her life and meeting someone who moves in with them. We see the roles changing, with Jayni being sensible and thinking about the money, whilst Mum is more reckless and living for the moment. When Mum’s new boyfriend leaves once the money has gone, she ends up in hospital after finding a lump. This proves to be cancerous and Jayni calls her aunt, who she hasn’t seen for many years, to help take care of them. We learn about the problems Mum and the aunt have had and the causes behind this and then we see the family unit growing stronger.
I enjoyed reading this book because I liked the way in which she dealt with a number of hard-hitting issues, using simple, everyday language that children can understand, without it becoming too dark. It shows that people can have problems and still come out the other side, so the reader feels happy at the end and it gives them hope. We see a glimpse into the child’s imagination and her reasons behind changing her name. You can escape and get away from your own troubles, if you have them. I really felt like I knew the character and could identify with her. Jacqueline Wilson aims this book at 9-11 year olds. However, I would look at the upper end of this age range, because of the sensitivity of the issues, unless you can are confident in reading. On her website, other children suggest that the book may not be suitable for under 10’s.
Overall, Lola-Rose is a captivating story which makes you feel for Jayni and her whole family, whilst showing the family unit and how one can let bygones be bygones in times of trouble.
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- This book would be suitable for 10+ year olds.