Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson

Opal Plumstead

Written by Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Best-selling Jacqueline Wilson’s 100th book is a cracking story set just before the First World War with one of Wilson’s feistiest girls yet at its heart. Opal Plumstead is a clever, bookish girl with a Scholarship place at a posh girl’s school. When her father commits a very foolish crime (to cover his disappointment at having his book rejected by a publisher) he is sent to prison and Opal’s life is turned upside down. Now she must work at the Fairy Glen sweet factory rather than study. The future looks bleak but in fact it is the beginning of a new chapter for Opal. Meeting Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragettes shows her the new opportunities for women that are on the horizon. And she falls in love…When everything is thrown into turmoil by the war, Opal has her share of grief but finds there are new horizons waiting for her afterwards.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Young schoolgirl Opal suddenly finds herself in changed circumstances, and has to leave school to work in a sweet factory. There she discovers both the suffragette movement and first love. Opal is an outspoken heroine, and the story brings the period just before World War I to life. (Ages 8–11)
~ Andrea Rayner


Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson

This wonderful new wartime story will be published to coincide with the one hundred year anniversary of the start of the First World War. And like one of Roald Dahl's most timeless and beloved novels, much of the action takes place at a sweet factory!

Opal Plumstead might be plain, but she has always been fiercely intelligent. Yet her scholarship and dreams of university are snatched away when her father is sent to prison, and fourteen-year-old Opal must start work at the Fairy Glen sweet factory to support her family. Opal struggles to get along with the other workers, who think her snobby and stuck-up. But Opal idolises Mrs Roberts, the factory's beautiful, dignified owner, who introduces Opal to the legendary Mrs Pankhurst and her fellow Suffragettes. And when Opal meets Morgan - Mrs Roberts' handsome son, and the heir to Fairy Glen - she believes she has found her soulmate. But the First World War is about to begin, and will change Opal's life for ever.

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A brilliant writer of wit and subtlety. -- The Times

She should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance. -- Independent on Sunday

Has a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues. -- Bookseller

About the Author

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson was our Guest Editor in February 2012. Click here to see her selection of books.

Jacqueline 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.

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. According to a recent Mori poll, Jacqueline was voted English children favourite children’s author. She has sold millions of books and in the UK alone the total stands at over 25 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.

2011 saw the 20th Anniversary of her best known novel, The Story of Tracy Beaker,which is not only still hugely popular but has given life to two sequels and an award-winning TV series for CBBC.

Click here to download an interview with Jacqueline.

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Doubleday Children's Books an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

9th October 2014




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