Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
To coincide with its centenary, Jacqueline Wilson has written a weighty 520-page story set in the run-up to World War I. Fourteen-year-old Opal's family falls on hard times when her accountant father foolishly forges a cheque to support his family. When he is arrested, they are reduced to penury, and feisty Opal, a clever scholarship girl at school, has instead to find work in a local factory. Here she encounters both bullying and friendship, encouragement in her art work, an introduction to women's suffrage, and ultimately love. The final chapter shows how World War I both destroys and encourages different aspects of her life, as it did for many girls.