The Diamond Girls
Publisher: Random House
The Diamond girls are sisters: Martine, Jude, Rochelle and the heroine Dixie, who together comprise a convincing portrait of all the complexities of contemporary family life - complete with the usual sibling rivalries.
Plain Dixie is not pretty or clever or streetwise like her sisters, but she lives in the vivid world of her own imagination with her toy budgie, Bluebell.
When Mum, who is expecting a new baby, decides to move the whole family to another estate, they are aghast to find it is almost derelict. Then Mum goes into labour...
Aimed at older readers, this is ostensibly one of Jacqueline Wilson's more hard-hitting novels. It deals with adult themes of birth, sexuality, teen pregnancy, gang-culture, abuse and post-natal depression, but all in Wilson's usual credible, accessible, first-person narrative style, with a charm and lightness of touch that belies the serious subject-matter.