Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Vicky Angel / Jacqueline Wilson ; illustrated by Nick Sharratt.

By: Wilson, Jacqueline.
Contributor(s): Sharratt, Nick.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Corgi Yearling, 2001Description: 155 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0440864151 (pbk.).Subject(s): Bereavement in children -- Juvenile fiction | Children and death -- Juvenile fiction | Best friends -- Juvenile fiction | Guilt -- Juvenile fiction | Bereavement -- Juvenile fiction | Death -- Juvenile fiction | Ghosts -- Juvenile fiction | Friendship -- Juvenile fiction | Angels -- Juvenile fictionGenre/Form: Ghost stories.DDC classification: Children's Fiction Summary: Jade is so used to being with and agreeing with Vicky, her larger than life best friend, that when a tragic accident occurs, she can hardly believe that Vicky is dead. Whether Jade is in lessons, out running or tentatively trying to make new friends, Vicky's presence haunts Jade as she struggles to come to terms with her death. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
No physical items for this record

Originally published: London: Doubleday, 2000.

Jade is so used to being with and agreeing with Vicky, her larger than life best friend, that when a tragic accident occurs, she can hardly believe that Vicky is dead. Whether Jade is in lessons, out running or tentatively trying to make new friends, Vicky's presence haunts Jade as she struggles to come to terms with her death. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.

Suitable 13 years and upwards

11 33 89 189

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Vicky's my best friend. We're closer than sisters. They call us the Twins at school because we're so inseparable. We've been best friends ever since we were at nursery school together and I crept up to Vicky at the water trough and she pulled a funny face and then tipped her red plastic teapot and started watering me. Vicky got told off for being mean to me but I didn't mind a bit. I just stood still in the sudden downpour, honored at her attention. Mum was cross because my gilt hairslides went rusty but I didn't care. Vicky hadn't said anything but I knew we were now friends. We stayed friends all the way through primary school and then we both went on to Downfield. Even Vicky was a bit quiet that first day in Year Seven when we didn't know anyone else. We know everyone now in Year Nine and they're all desperate to be Vicky's friend but we mostly just stick together, the two of us. We're going to be best friends for ever and ever and ever, through school, through college, through work. It doesn't matter about falling in love. Vicky's already had heaps of boyfriends but no one can ever mean as much to us as each other. We walk to school together, we sit next to each other all day, and after school I either hang out at Vicky's or she comes home with me. I hope Vicky asks me round to her place today. I like her home far more than mine. It's time to go home now but we're checking out this big notice on the cloakroom door about after-school clubs. We've got a new head teacher who's fussed because Downfield is considered a bit of a dump and so he's determined we're all going to do better in our exams and get involved with all these extracurricular activities. "It's bad enough having to go to school," Vicky says. "So who's sad enough to want to stay afterlike, voluntarily?" I nod out of habit. I always agree with Vicky. But I've just read a piece about a new drama club and I can't help feeling wistful. Ever since I was little I've wanted to be an actress. I know it's mad. I'm not anyone special. No one from our housing development ever gets to do anything glamorous or famous, and anyway, even the richest, prettiest, most talented kids can't make a living out of acting. But I just want to act so much. I've never been in anything at all, apart from school stuff. I was an angel in the Nativity play way back in Year Two. Vicky got to be Mary. Miss Gilmore, who's head of English and drama, had us all in, Toad of Toad Hall when we were in Year Seven. I so wanted to be Toad, but Miss Gilmore chose Fatboy Sam. Typecasting. Though he was good. Very good. But I have this mad, totally secret idea that I could have been better. Vicky and I were just woodland creatures. Vicky was a very cute squirrel with an extra-fluffy tail. She did little hops everywhere and nibbled nuts very neatly She got a special cheer and clap at the end. I was a stoat. You can't be cute if you're a stoat. I tried to be a very sly sinister stoat, lurking in the shadows, but Miss Gilmore pushed me forward and said, "Come on, Jade, no need to be shy." I didn't get a chance to explain I was being sly, not shy. I tried not to mind too much. Even Dame Judi Dench would find it hard to get a special cheer if she had to play a stoat. I didn't want to be an animal. I wanted to play a person. When I'm at home on my own-when Vicky's busy and Mum's at work and Dad's asleep- I parade round the living room and act out all the soaps or I'll do Claire Danes' lines in Romeo and Juliet or I'll just make up my own plays. Sometimes I'll act people I know. I always end up acting Vicky. I close my eyes and think about her voice and when I start saying something I sound just like her. I stay Vicky even when I open my eyes. I can feel her long thick bright hair bouncing about my shoulders and my green eyes are glittering and I'm smiling Vicky's wicked grin. I dance up and down the room until I catch sight of myself in the big mirror above the fireplace and see my own sad pale skinny self. A ghost girl. I always feel much more alive when I'm being Vicky. "Come on, Jade," Vicky says, tugging at me. I'm reading the Drama Club notice one more time. Vicky's getting impatient. "You're not interested in that weirdo club, are you?" "No! No, of course not," I say, although I'm extremely interested and Vicky knows I am. There's a little gleam in her green eyes like she's laughing at me. I take a deep breath. "Well, maybe I am interested," I say. I know I shouldn't always let her walk all over me. I should try standing up for myself for once. But it's hard when I'm so used to doing what Vicky wants. "You wouldn't join with me, would you?" I ask. "You've got to be joking!" says Vicky. "Miss Gilmore's running it. I can't stick her." Nearly all the teachers think Vicky wonderful, even when she's cheeky to them, but Miss Gilmore is often a bit brisk with Vicky, almost as if she irritates her. I know Miss Gilmore's dead boring," I agree tactfully. "But it could be fun, Vicky. A real laugh. Go on, please, let's. I bet you'd get all the best parts." "No. I wouldn't. Not necessarily," says Vicky. "I don't like acting anyway. I don't see the point. It's just like playing a silly kid's game. I don't get why you're so keen, Jade." "Well ... it's just ... Oh, Vicky, you know I want to be an actress." I feel my face flooding scarlet. I want it so badly I always blush when I talk about it. I look awful when I go red. I'm usually so white that the sudden rush of blood is alarming, and a terrible contrast to my pale hair. I quite fancy being on television-but as myself. Can you see me as a TV presenter, eh?" Vicky starts a wacky telly routine, using the end of her tie first as a mike and then turning it into a little kid's puppet, making it droop when she tells it off for being naughty. I can't help laughing. Vicky's so good at everything. I think she really could get on television. She could do anything she wants. She'd have no trouble at all making it as an actress. "Please, Vicky. Let's join the Drama Club," I say. "You join the silly old Drama Club." I don't want to join by myself." I always do everything with Vicky. I can't imagine joining anything independently. It wouldn't be the same. "Don't be so wet, Jade," says Vicky. "You go. We don't always have to be joined at the hip." She gives her own hip a little slap. "Stop growing, you guys," she says. "I'm curvy enough now, right? And as for you, Big Bum!" She reaches round and gives her bottom a punch. "Start shrinking straight away, do you hear me?" "You've got an absolutely perfect figure and you know it, so stop showing off," I say, giving her a nudge. Then I slip my hand through the crook of her elbow so we're linked. "Please please pretty please join the Drama Club with me?" "No! Look, you wouldn't automatically join anything I wanted to go to, would you?" says Vicky, tossing her hair so that it tickles my face. "Yes I would. You know I would. I'd join anything for you," I say. Vicky's eyes gleam emerald. "Right!" She looks up at all the notices for clubs. "OK, OK. I'll go to the dopey old Drama Club with you if ... you'll join the Fun Run Friday Club with me." "What? )y "There! That's settled. So it's drama on Wednesdays after school and fun running on Fridays. What a starry new social life!" says Vicky. "You are joking, aren't you?" "Nope. Deadly serious," says Vicky, and she whips out her felt pen and writes her name and mine on the Drama Club list and for the Fun Run Club too. From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Wilson (The Story of Tracy Beaker, reviewed July 23) here poignantly addresses a tragic and traumatic experience: the death of a friend. Narrator Jude and her friend Vicky are inseparable ("We're going to be best friends for ever and ever and ever, through school, through college, through work"), until one afternoon, when Vicky is hit by a car. But the separation is temporary: after learning at the hospital that Vicky has died, Jude returns to the site of the accident, where she discovers a bouquet of red roses ("It's as if any spilt blood has been magically morphed into sweet-smelling flowers")Aas well as Vicky. Guilt-filled (at one point Vicky's mother asks Jude, "Couldn't you have stopped her?"), the grieving girl finds solace in visits from Vicky's ghost. Yet Wilson adds intriguing dimension to her plot, as the apparition intermittently comforts and taunts Jude, sometimes making her laugh and at other times encouraging her to be mean to classmates who try to comfort her. Other characters, too, seem to make light of the events (e.g., Jude's mother wishes to contribute flowers and, upon learning that white lilies were Vicky's favorites, says, "They'll cost a fortuneAbut it can't be helped, I suppose"). Despite the well-intentioned efforts of teachers and friends, Vicky increasingly becomes a controlling presence from which Jude feels unable to escape. Yet ultimately, the friends do let go, as Jude's narrative reaches an affirming, affecting conclusion. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Jade and Vicky are as close as sisters and have been friends since nursery school. However, while Vicky is outgoing and bubbly, Jade is quiet, and definitely the follower in the relationship. As the teens are leaving school one day, they have an argument. Vicky flounces off in a huff, crossing the street without looking. She is hit by a car and dies in the hospital. Remorseful, Jade returns to the spot where the accident happened. She encounters Vicky, now a ghost, who over the next several months takes to tormenting Jade, getting in the way of homework and new friendships. A teacher suggests that the young woman might benefit from grief counseling. In the final pages, when she gives evidence at the inquest, Jade, who has felt responsible for the death, allows herself to remember the events leading up to the accident. This is a well-written book by a popular British author, but somehow it just doesn't work: the ending is facile, as is the implication that her sudden recollection of what happened makes her "OK." Also, the idea that she would see a grief counselor without her parents' approval is interesting, but Mrs. Wainwright seems a little too good to be true, and the relationship and trust between the two develop too quickly. Still, the book may prove popular with reluctant readers who enjoy novels that portray teen angst.-Marlyn K. Roberts, Torrance Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. Wilson, who does such a great job of taking serious topics and leavening them with humor, takes on a rough assignment here--death and its aftermath. There are a few overwrought moments, but she succeeds at explaining survivor guilt to her young audience. Jade and Vicky have been best friends forever, with Vicky the dominant one and Jade her willing lackey. All that changes with the squeal of car brakes: Jade and Vicky are having a tiff when Vicky darts out into the street and is killed. Jade copes by conjuring up an imaginary Vicky, though readers will believe, as Jade does, this Vicky is quite real. Certainly, Vicky acts as she did in life, amusing Jade, comforting her, tormenting her, preventing her from befriending anyone else. Wilson gets inside Jade's head--where Vicky is firmly lodged--and readers experience all of Jade's conflicting emotions as she weakly fights against Vicky's influence and her own desire, at times, to join her friend in death. Wilson's wonderful way with dialogue, and the British sensibility that pervades the story, makes this more incisive than depressing. Jade's eventual decision to fight her obsession comes a bit quickly, but her ability to finally relive the accident and assess her guilt makes for a dramatic, heartening conclusion. Ilene Cooper

Horn Book Review

After witnessing her best friendÆs death in a car accident, Jade finds it hard to make new friends, especially since VickyÆs ghost comes back and jealously prevents her from trying. Class clown Fatboy Sam and JadeÆs teachers reach out to help. Set in England (with British-flavored language), this ghost story can be read lightly, yet it grapples with serious issues of grieving and moving on. From HORN BOOK Spring 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

Jade and Vicky are best friends, "closer than sisters," and although the cover openly reveals Vicky's death, it does not prepare readers for Jade's intense reactions. Immediately Vicky dies, and Jade begins to see and hear her spirit. But this story is not the typical: friend dies and appears as gentle ghost, protagonist grieves and heals, and friend's ghost quietly disappears. At first ecstatic to be reunited with Vicky, Jade quickly becomes tormented by her, a girl who, readers discover, often manipulated their friendship. Vicky's spirit demands Jade's loyalty; forces her to talk cruelly to those trying to help her; makes her laugh at inappropriate times; pinches and prods her, causing her to fidget incessantly; and constantly reminds Jade of her death, even insinuating Jade's culpability. With marital problems of their own, Jade's parents cannot comfort her, but a loving teacher introduces the girl to a grief counselor. Through counseling, Jade confronts and learns to control Vicky, taking charge of her grieving. In addition to this theme, Wilson (The Story of Tracy Beaker, p. 873, etc.) tackles myriad responses to Vicky's death from her mother's anger to all-out hysteria. What makes this story successful are its honest characters and dialogue, its unique coverage of grief, and its ability to unite readers with Jade's healing process. (Fiction. 9-12)