Kirkus Reviews QR Code
VICKY ANGEL by Jacqueline Wilson


by Jacqueline Wilson & illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-72920-0
Publisher: Delacorte

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)