Baby Love

By Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin)

Baby Love

Review by Bou
I really enjoyed the Jaqueline Wilson book, Baby Love. I thought the story was very gripping and harrowing at times, and the book overall was quite an emotional journey. I felt delighted at the end when all was resolved and the main character, Laura, was able to keep her child due to her saviour, her aunt. I felt most interested in the main character, Laura, as her journey through her pregnancy was quite educational and I felt quite sorry for what she had to go through, it must’ve been really hard. It also highlighted the importance of sexual education for children, as Laura, herself, wasn’t aware of what was happening when she got pregnant. I disliked the young man who forced himself on her, Leon. I also disliked the character of Miss Andrews who enforced adoption on the mothers, and, perhaps,

I’ve never been a fan of most of Jacqueline Wilson’s books as a child, but I did enjoy this book. The book was relatable up to a point for me but may also be very relatable to some young girls. It was very educational and showed the positive and negative experiences of Laura through her pregnancy. Wilson made the book extremely empathetic and showed the stereotypical experiences teenage girls face.

The vocabulary in the book was average for the age range. I thought it could have been a bit more challenging to match the context. The book was hard to get into at first and the first third seemed to drag on for a while; this was similar throughout the book, the plot was about the pregnancy, but there was no real drama after Laura was found out to be pregnant. For me the book was a little dull and I felt like it just needed another turn of events to really capture me and become a ‘page-turning’ book.

In this book I felt the historical context was there but hidden. If I didn’t state it was set in the 1960s, I wouldn’t have known what time it was set in. Wilson, however, did show how girls were treated at that time and clearly showed the victim blaming and shame brought on young girls for something that may have not been their fault. In the book Laura meets Sarah, who stayed at Heathcote House (The home pregnant girls would be sent too). Her story was that her teacher, Mr Brown, groomed her until she was with his child. Sarah was blamed and had to keep the baby as abortion was illegal in the 1960s. Wilson shared Sarah’s, and many of the other girls in the home’s, stories. In the afterword she also states how Laura has handled being a young mum. She also writes about notes on sexual context and notes on adoption. I thought this was a nice touch at the end of a book and was educational, not only about these things in the past but what happens in today’s world.

[It] represented the establishment at the time which enforced such things on young women without suggesting any alternatives or helping to provide for them in any way so that they could keep their new-borns. I learnt a lot about the backwards state of the 60s and how young women were not only taken advantage of, but their babies stripped from them without their say in the matter. Young Laura, the teen mother, was clearly totally unaware of what happened at the time of the conception and proceeded to not know anything about her own pregnancy as her mother hadn’t taught her anything growing up. I quite like the 60s and the 70s period myself as I’m really interested in the music, the fashion and the art of the time. For example, the song artists Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and many more are people who I very much admire and listen to often. I would definitely recommend this to other students; however, I would do so with caution as it was a very emotional, heart-breaking story where even the narrative of the side and minor characters brought me to tears. Overall, I loved this book and thought that it had a great and powerful message. 

Review by Robert
Baby Love by Jacqueline Wilson, is an engaging novel which follows Laura’s character during the era of the 1960s. This book allowed me to learn about life in England during this time including the inequality between rich and poor people. The story follows Laura from childhood to having a child of her own. I was rooting for Laura throughout the novel. I liked the way Laura’s thought and feelings are described so realistically. One thing that stood out from the book was the unfair way society in the 1960s treated poor teenagers and especially those who became pregnant early. The book made me realise that there wasn't much hope for teenagers who became pregnant in the 1960’s. Although this book was sad at times, I would suggest it is definitely worth reading for older teenagers who can learn a lot about what life was like in the recent past of this country. 

Review by Muhammad
This book written by Jacqueline Wilson is a book about a girl who seem ordinary had dreams but because of someone she thought of as a friend and a series of unfortunate events she ends up away from away yet at home. The story of Laura is a heart-breaking yet warm one. This book teaches a very important lesson in choosing friends that walk alongside you rather then dragging you along on a leash. The plot is cosy yet serious and heart-breaking forcing the reader to read the whole book. I would definitely recommend this book to other students as it teaches many important lessons about friendship and also about not judging people by how they look but rather by who they are.

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