Saturday, November 07, 2009

Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson

by Jacqueline Wilson
Roaring Brook
1596432411 / 9781596432413
September 2007
Juvenile or Middle grade (grades 4-8)

This book would work well for both juvenile and middle grade readers. Written by Jacqueline Wilson, who was already enormously popular in Great Britain, this marked her debut in the United States.

Flossie's mom has remarried and is living prosperously with a new husband and baby. But Flossie's dad, though close to 40, just hasn't gotten his life together. Overweight, depressed, and hanging on by a thread, he's his own worst enemy.

When Flossie's mom and stepdad have the chance to move to Sydney for six months, they expect Flossie to go with them. Except that's not what Flossie wants. After a lot of pleading, she finally convinces her mom to allow her to stay with her father in London.

Whereas Flossie had been popular and well-groomed before, she's soon going to school looking unkempt and smelling of her father's greasy-spoon cafe. She loses her status-conscious friends, but later makes friends with Susan, who is a better, truer friend. After numerous trials that end with Flossie and her dad being destitute and all but homeless, he is finally jolted into seeing how far he's sunk, and begins to repair his broken life. He meets Rose, his true match, who is a fortune-teller and cotton-candy maker with a traveling carnival. Flossie, a likable character, suffers all this hardship with aplomb, and learns some important lessons along the way. Readers will cheer when she finally sees her ex-best friend for the bully and snob that she really is.

Many readers will identify with Flossie. I certainly would've, when I was that age. My strata of society wasn't about boarding school, designer clothes or European vacations, which is what trendy MG and YA fiction is about today, but rather working class people who lived from paycheck to paycheck and did the best they could with the cards they were dealt--just like Flossie and her father.

If you read this book, did you enjoy it?


  1. Hmm, I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds really good! I love the cover too ;)

  2. Ha! Ha! I've heard so many people say they judge a book by its cover and title. (My own hand flies into the air. Me too!) But why does this cover appeal to us? It's only feet wearing some cute socks! Maybe it's the colors? And the way the feet have a questioning quality about them?

    1. look, that is not the cover!!! the real cover is by nick sharatt a pic of floss and lots of other things a very good cover do u no how long this took to write??

  3. This IS the American cover. I know because School Library Journal sent it to me to review with this cover and then when they sent the complimentary book for the library, it also had the same cover. But I've seen the cartoonish cover, which is very cute. Cuter than feet in pink socks. I don't know how long it took Jacqueline to write the book. Do you? My guess is six months.


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