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Unofficial Laureate of the Sleepover Generation

12 April 2004

Uniquely beloved by teenage girls, Jacqueline Wilson is the extraordinary children’s writer who has recently supplanted Catherine Cookson as the most borrowed author in Britain’s libraries. The author of nearly 70 books, her sales exceed 15 million copies worldwide (not counting the US) and Philippa Dickinson, Publisher of Random House Children’s Books in the UK, says: 'She is unstoppable. We’re projecting 20 million sales for her by the end of 2004.'

What is it that powers this dynamo of a writer, who is uniquely loved by the kids she writes for? Probably it’s her very down-to-earth quality. Her books are about real children in everyday situations. Her daughter Emma said of her: ‘I remember, if difficult things happened, she always wanted to see them and respond to them absolutely justly… Realism and justice are very deep within Mum.’

Success hasn’t changed her – she’s stayed in the same house in Kingston-upon-Thames where she has lived for 35 years. She still uses public transport (perhaps because she says it gives her the opportunity to her what her target audience of young girls is talking about). She’s also devoted to her readers and recently set what is probably a record for a signing session, having signed for eight-and-a-half hours in one day for 3,000 children. No wonder they love her.