Read My Brother Bernadette by Jacqueline Wilson Free Online
Book Title: My Brother Bernadette|
The author of the book: Jacqueline Wilson
Edition: Heinemann Library
Date of issue: August 1st 2001
Loaded: 2611 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
ISBN 13: 9780431061757
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 659 KB
City - Country: No data
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This book is part of the 'Yellow Banana' series put out by Heineman Young, which are short chapter books for semi-fluent readers. I'd been looking for something like this because my six-year-old responds very well to text with high quality, coloured pictures, and although she has quite liked chapter books such as Violet Mackerel and similar, those are not expensive productions; the illustrations are simple line drawings. While line drawings can be quite wonderful and expressive, the illustrations in this book are of the highest quality, and really held her attention. She doesn't usually ask for an entire chapter book in one sitting, but she wouldn't let me finish until I'd finished and then she saw that there are others in the series and asked for those too. (I don't have them, but may seek them out.)
The illustrations by David Roberts are so wonderful, of course, in part because of the author pairing. Jacqueline Wilson really knows how to write for kids -- not just the slightly older age group, as it happens, but for six year old girls as well.
I love that this is a story about a working class family. We so often read about middle class kids, and although we're never told as much, it's generally obvious from the holidays they are taken on and the items around their houses. These are British kids whose parents both need to work, which means the kids need to go to holiday programs when school's not in.
A lesser writer might get some cheap conflict out of some relationship difficulties between the children and the adults who run the program, but at every stage in this story I realised that the adults are caring and well-meaning -- they just didn't fully understand the social dynamics going on between the kids.
The character of Big Dan is a classic bully trope and young readers will recognise this immediately. While this story doesn't push any boundaries regarding the subtle complexities of real-life bullies (who are often victims themselves, and who do not fit into a victim-bully binary), the real character complexity is saved for Sara's little brother Bernard.
Without being told as much, the reader will know from his treatment that this is a gentle, perhaps effeminate little boy, and now he faces a new set of peers and must learn how to both stand up to the bullies and how to be himself. He manages this with grace. Wilson's complexity of character comes from the fact that although Bernard likes traditionally girly things such as sewing, he doesn't go straight for the daisies, and the frills and the most camp fabrics -- he may like sewing, but he's going to embroider a dragon, dammit.
This story is a good starting point for a discussion about boys doing girly things and girls doing boyish things, and is there really any such thing. It's also a good depiction of the way in which it's okay for a girl (Sara) to defy gender expectations by playing football, but when the little brother defies gender expectations he is called names. (Because girls have less power, it's still not okay for a boy to identify at all with girls.)
Although this is basically a retribution story in which a bully gets his come-uppance -- I'm not a fan of this kind of tale -- the 'comeuppance' is innocuous: Big Dan is simply forced to face his own discomfort with non-traditional gender markers.
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Read information about the authorJacqueline Wilson was born in Bath in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was nine, filling in countless Woolworths’ exercise books as she grew up. As a teenager she started work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine (which she was told was named after her!) before turning to writing novels full-time.
One of Jacqueline’s most successful and enduring creations has been the famous Tracy Beaker, who first appeared in 1991 in The Story of Tracy Beaker. This was also the first of her books to be illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Since then Jacqueline has been on countless awards shortlists and has gone on to win many awards. The Illustrated Mum won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the 1999 Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and was also shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award.
Double Act won the prestigious Smarties Medal and the Children’s Book Award as well as being highly commended for the Carnegie Medal. The Story of Tracy Beaker won the 2002 Blue Peter People’s Choice Award.
Jacqueline is one of the nation’s favourite authors, and her books are loved and cherished by young readers not only in the UK but all over the world. She has sold millions of books and in the UK alone the total now stands at over 35 million!
In 2002 Jacqueline was awarded the OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she was the Children’s Laureate. In 2008 she became Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
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