Name: The Story Of Tracy Beaker Audiobook
Author: Jacqueline Wilson
Presented By: Sandi Toksvig
Length: 2hrs 40mins
In this review I will be taking a look at the audiobook version of The Story of Tracy Beaker, the 1991 children’s book by Jacqueline Wilson, read in this 2008 audiobook edition by former The Great British Bake Off and QI host, Sandi Toksvig.
I have mentioned Tracy Beaker before on the blog as one of my top five children’s reads as I was a massive fan of the TV series and remember owning the book when I was a child. Unfortunately I’m not entirely sure what happened to the book so I decided to listen to the audiobook for a bit of a nostalgia trip.
Tracy Beaker is a feisty and boisterous 10 year old girl who lives in a care home, which she likes to call The Dumping Ground. The book is entirely written from her perspective as we learn about her life in a life book she is writing.
We learn Tracy has been in care for a long time due to neglect and domestic violence and hasn’t seen her mother for a long time but she holds out hope that one day she will be reunited with her. She has previously been in two foster homes, with Aunty Peggy who used to smack her and more recently Julie and Ted, who returned her to the care home when Julie unexpectedly fell pregnant and felt Tracy would feel left out by the new arrival.
Tracy also has an ultimate nemesis in Justine Littlewood, another girl in the care who has become best friends with Tracy’s old friend Louise. There is also another boy in the home, Peter Ingham who Tracy shares a birthday with and initially doesn’t like him for this as she has to share a cake with him.
Towards the end of the book Tracy meets Cam Lawson, a writer who comes to do an article on the care home and as Tracy bonds with her over her love of writing, will she get her happy ever after?
I really enjoyed listening to this story again in audiobook form. Sandi Toksvig is excellent at reading the book and playing the part of Tracy in narrating the story which does help to bring the book to life, from when she is feisty and calling Justine “Littlebrain” or the very funny dare game the two play, to the more emotional parts where Tracy talks about missing her mum. However she NEVER cries and it is just her hay fever which is flaring up.
Jacqueline Wilson also does an incredible job at making Tracy leap from the page in her words and you feel a great deal of empathy for her and root for her during her more emotional moments.
I also recently read an article which was about the TV series where in the comments someone said the show made kids realise that other kids can grow up in difficult circumstances and I think the same is also true for the book which does a fantastic job of this here.
One thing I did miss as I had read the paper version is Nick Sharratt’s brilliant illustrations in the book as they also help bring the book to life, also in some parts Tracy makes reference to the drawings which obviously aren’t there when Toksvig is reading the book but this is only a minor thing.
I would definitely recommend giving this audiobook a try.