Sunday, 26 February 2012

Daydreams and Diaries

I’ve always been incredibly fascinated by Jacqueline Wilson’s literature career, I have been reading her books since I was eight years old, so you could say I am quite the fan. To have the chance to be able to see some of her original notebooks and personal possessions on display sure was a welcome distraction.



The exhibition which is hosted by Seven Stories in Newcastle was an eclectic mix of fiction and art compiled together in a truly spellbinding way. I was absolutely thrilled to see glimpses of Jacqueline’s life on display, tender photographs of her family and loved ones (including her cat Jacob) and significant letters from publishers and her early journalism career and work for Jackie magazine documented.



The way this exhibition has been curated is simply dreamlike, with a good mix of personal touches and plenty of realism and in turn escapism. The replica bedroom from Jacqueline’s own childhood was a good dose of nostalgia, for a moment you could almost imagine a little girl, who would grow up to be one of the most well-loved children’s authors. The only disappointing factor for me was that photographs were not permitted inside the exhibition, but this is understandable.

I’ve always been curious to see how a book comes to life, so to be able to see the original notebooks written by Jacqueline, stuffed full of endless notes, ideas and pages of writing was exceptionally inspiring. I was more so thrilled to see the Olivetti Lettera 35 typewriter she first sat down and wrote the story of Tracy Beaker on. It’s hard to imagine if she knew when writing that book, that it would turn into such a memorable tale. It’s clear she was a determined writer from a young age, with her early stories and teenage diaries a big presence in her bedroom.



This exhibition covers the life and career of such an incredible storyteller, I was proud to see her DBE award on display, awarded for her services to literature. From an older perspective this was a real treat to see, the fact this author has gained such recognition, really is the greatest achievement. A tiny glimpse of her ring collection brought an instant connection to the author for me. For she is rarely seen without her large and beautifully ornate rings.

Nick Sharratt’s original artwork and drawings were also on display, any Jacqueline Wilson fan will know that no book is complete without matching artwork from the illustrator. It’s nice to be able to appreciate the partnership and friendship between both Jacqueline and Nick.



I felt a real sense of excitement about this exhibition, although I am no longer a child myself, it’s nice to be able to appreciate an author who was a big part of my childhood and one I always look to as a role model. If there was any doubt in my mind about having a dream, then this has confirmed that my love of writing will simply never go away.
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28 comments

  1. I sort of slipped through the cracks and somehow missed out on Jacqueline Wilson as a girl - I was all about Harry Potter, pony books and classics but my little sister loved her books and said that they made growing up much easier which seems like high praise. Wouldn't it be fantastic to feel as though your writing had made a difference to someone? :-)

    Jem xXx

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    1. I think that's why her books are so popular and well received, because kids can identify with the characters and her books have always been so true to life. It would be a wonderful feeling, and for me that is why I admire her writing career so much so xxx

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  2. I have missed out on Jacqueline Wilson too as im a bit older, the exhibition sounds great :o) Scarlett x

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    1. I think it can often be by chance that an author comes into your life, be it through a recommendation or school etc. I do wonder what I would have read throughout my childhood/teens if Jacqueline Wilson wasn't introduced to me xxx

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  3. I used to have Bad Girls and Double Act when I was younger.. I used to read them over and over again. I have no idea why I didn't get any more of her books! I'm with Jem though, I was more of a adventure and fantasy book person myself.. still am! Harry Potter was definitely (and still is) one of my favourite book series! xxx

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    1. I have read many of my Wilson books many times over! Especially the early titles. Double Act was the second Jacqueline Wilson book I was bought, I would get to the end and then within a few weeks read it all over again xxx

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  4. I'm also too old to have read JW as a youngster, but I have flicked through a couple since reading about her as she rose to fame. I have nieces, no doubt they'll be introduced to her in due course. I'd have loved similar exhibitions on my favourite authors - I wrote to Jill Murphy (author of the Worst Witch books) when I was little, and was so thrilled when she sent me a hand written reply, complete with illustration.

    ***Faith Hope and Charity Shopping first blogiversary giveaway open now***

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    1. That sounds a wonderful memory from childhood, I remember the Worst Witch books xxx

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  5. That exhibition sounds amazing, I use to read bits and pieces of her work as a child too - always found them really enjoyable. The Seven Stories place is amazing though, I went to meet Melvin Burgess there when he was giving a talk and managed to get a look around - such a gorgeous little museum all within walking distance of where I use to live!

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    1. It’s a lovely little place and I adore the way it is set on various floors, there’s plenty to explore and the gift shop is full of delights too! xxx

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  6. I loved Jacqueline Wilson books they were such a big part of my childhood :) I used to finish her books the day I got them much to my parents annoyance! I don't think I've ever disliked a book she's wrote :) My sister has them all in her room now and she's added to the collection with her new books. I have to confess I sometimes read the new ones even though they're not meant for 23 year olds :p ha ha One of my favourite's was The Illustrated mum such a good book Xxx
    xxx

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    1. When I read the Girls series in my teens I would finish them the same day as I bought them too! Such brilliant books, I have my favourites too and The Illustrated Mum is definitely one of them :) Sometimes I wish I had a younger relative to share them/pass them onto xxx

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  7. I love this post! I didn't even know about the exhibition, I'm sure it was really amazing! You know I will always share your love for these books <3 xxx

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    1. I thought you might like it! I always think of you when I think of Jacqueline Wilson too. You would love this exhibition, it's running until September xxx

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  8. The exhibition looks great! My cousin grew up reading the books and now she's nearly 21, she still re-reads them and asks for any new ones at Christmas x

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    1. I think I will always have Jacqueline Wilson books in my life. I'm nearly 23, but will never grow old of them! xxx

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  9. I'm far too old to have read Jacqueline Wilson, I had to make do with Enid Blyton! x

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    1. I firmly believe you are never too old to read a Jacqueline Wilson book xxx

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  10. I adored Jacqueline Wilson as a child, I still have a whole shelf of her books, I cannot bear to get rid of them! I wrote to her and I used to be the first at Waterstones to buy each new book - I was such a fangirl haha. I just found her books fascinating and I completely blame her for my childhood love of reading and writing, she was such an inspirational author. I've vowed to keep up with her newer books :)

    www.coffeeandrosesx.blogspot.com
    xxx

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    1. Wow I am so glad to have found another fan, your tale doesn’t sound too different to mine I really do believe that one of the reasons I love writing so much is because of Jacqueline Wilson. I always remember borrowing her books from the school library and never wanting to return them. That’s why now I treasure all my own copies and will never part with them for as long as I live xxx

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  11. Jacqueline Wilson was probably my most read childhood author, I love her.

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  12. Jaxqueline Wilson is such a great author, this exhibition sounds great. I loved her so much as a child.

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    1. I agree, growing up a lot of my friends also shared the same love for her books as much as me xxx

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  13. sounds like a very fun exhibition! sadly i grew up in a different culture and country so i never heard of her when i was little but i do love all those cute bookcovers and sounds like she's a great author and storyteller!

    x susan

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    1. She really is such a wonderful storyteller and will always be my favourite author to date xxx

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  14. I used to adore Jacqueline's books, and I met her at a booksigning for 'The Diamond Girls'! x

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    1. I would love to meet her one day! xxx

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