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Saturday, 23 February 2013

Emerald Star by Jacqueline Wilson

Emerald Star - Hetty Feather 3

This is a fantastic new adventure for brave, feisty Hetty Feather - one of Jacqueline Wilson's most well-loved characters. Since leaving the Foundling Hospital, Hetty has seen her fair share of drama, excitement, tragedy and loss. After the death of her beloved mama, she sets off to find a real home at last - starting with the search for her father. But Hetty is no longer a simple country girl, and begins to fear she'll never truly belong anywhere. And even when she is reunited with her beloved childhood sweetheart Jem, Hetty still longs for adventure - especially when an enchanting figure from her past makes an unexpected reappearance. Could a more exciting future lie ahead for Hetty?

This is the third instalment in the popular Hetty Feather series by Jacqueline Wilson, charting the life of a former Foundling Hospital orphan. 

At the end of the previous book, Sapphire Battersea, Hetty had found her mother and had said a sad goodbye as she died in hospital, she had left service as a maid, and found work in a seaside attraction as the smallest mermaid.  At the start of this book  Hetty goes in search of her real father before a letter from her foster brother means she must travel back down south to her favourite foster home for a reunion with her Jem where she falls into a life of mundane housework and caring for her infirm mother (foster) before a visit from a travelling attraction gives her an opportunity to change her life

I really enjoyed this book. I have read these books out of order. After receiving the second book to review, I immediately raided my daughter's book shelves to read the first and was waiting in anticipation for this, the third and final book, in the trilogy. I have not been disappointed. This book, as the previous two, has Hetty getting herself into many difficult scraps, which she exits from in true Hetty style.

The book has lots of historical fact and social history included and as I have previously noted in the review for Sapphire Battersea it would make a perfect book to link into history lessons for students of Victorian England.

I would recommend this book as a fantastic read, although I recommend to get the best understanding and enjoyment of the book, i recommend that readers read the previous two books before this one, as it is a fantastic series.

I am sure I read somewhere that this is a trilogy, meaning that this is the end of Hetty Feather, however this book has been left in a place where the series could be continued. I really hope that it is, because I really want to know what Hetty gets up to next and if her decision was the right one!

When this book was released in September 2012, Jacqueline Wilson undertook a book tour and my daughter and I were really excited to learn that she would be visiting Worcester and I was on the telephone as soon as I found out the tickets were on sale. It was well worth the phone call. Jacqueline Wilson is an excellent speaker. The theatre was full of preteen girls and their parents (i checked the audience and didn't see one boy) and there was silence as Jacqueline talked about her inspiration for the books, her journey to becoming a published author (did you know she worked on Jackie magazine and was the inspiration for the title) and then opened up the floor to questions from the audience, to which she answered many. After a short break and change of venue, Jacqueline very kindly promised that every child who was in the audience would have their book signed and the queue snaked all around The Hive, Worcester's new library (opened by the queen and then graced with the presence of Dame Jacqueline Wilson!!) and outside onto the bridge but I am assured everyone had their books signed.

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