London, 1876 and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school.
Life in the countryside is sometimes hard, but with her foster brothers, Jem and Gideon, Hetty helps in the fields and plays vivid imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus, and Hetty is mesmerised by the show - especially the stunning Madame Adeline and her performing horses.
But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she must return to the Foundling Hospital to begin her education. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her, and she desperately misses her beloved Jem. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?
Year of Publication
JACQUELINE WILSON is an extremely well-known and hugely popular author. THE ILLUSTRATED MUM was chosen as British Children's Book of the Year in 1999 and was winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award 2000. Jacqueline has won the prestigious Smarties Prize and the Children's Book Award for DOUBLE ACT, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal. In 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and in 2008 she was made a Dame. * 'A brilliant young writer of wit and subtlety' THE TIMES * 'Hugely popular with seven to ten year olds: 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