To be horrified by this Jacqueline Wilson book and the message it sends to teens?

(170 Posts)
AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 21-Jun-13 14:25:36

At the moment in on a bit of a nostalgia kick book wise and have been reading all my old Jacqueline Wilson books. I've just finished rereading Love Lessons. Its about a lonely teenager (14) who falls "in love" with her male teacher who reciprocates the feelings and acts upon them.

Basically she confesses that she "loves him" and when they are alone in his car after babysitting, she kisses him and he kisses her back. He tells her that he has been fantasising about her at night and wishing they could be together. At the end of the book, the girl is asked to leave the school so the teacher can stay. On the walk home, the teacher catches her to say he loves her but he's staying with his wife.

When I read this as a teenager, I thought it was romantic and a really sad love story but now as an adult, all I can think is what on earth was JW thinking?! Teenage girls always get crushes on teachers but its like this book is saying to try and act on it because some teachers might love you back.

And then when the girl is asked to leave the school, the things the head teacher says to her are appalling. Quotes:

"You should have thought of that before you started acting in this ridiculous and precocious manner. If I were another kind of head teacher I would have Mr Raxberry instantly suspended. There could even be a court case. He would not only lose his job, he could find himself in very serious trouble. Did you ever stop to think about that?" --> is complete victim blaming and ignoring (and failing to report) abuse.

The girl says "none of this was his fault." and the head teacher says "I'm inclined to believe you." Again blaming the girl for what happened.

Its like JW is saying that a 14 year old girl could be responsible for an adult male risking his job and taking advantage of a pupil. Like she should have been the one to say no. And she's also saying that people in authority (the people someone abused should confide in) might think that way too. What will girls reading that book think?

At no point does JW use the story to explain that this is abuse, the girl is a victim and that the teacher is responsible for the situation and not the girl.

AIBU to be horrified by this book and disappointed in Jacqueline Wilson?

StuntGirl Fri 21-Jun-13 14:26:45

Can't stand her anyway.

seesensepeople Fri 21-Jun-13 14:29:11

YANBU - This book is the reason that all JW crap is banned from my home.

If I remember correctly (7 years since I looked at it) the first words of the book are "I hate my dad"... yet another reason to ban it in my opinion.

VinegarDrinker Fri 21-Jun-13 14:29:31

That does sound pretty bad (and I am normally a big JW fan).

QueenoftheHolly Fri 21-Jun-13 14:30:00

Bloody hell! What on earth was this woman thinking?!
I'm shock

seesensepeople Fri 21-Jun-13 14:30:14

Oh yes - and Jeremy Forrest has just been jailed for a similar story!

LalyRawr Fri 21-Jun-13 14:31:07

Whaaaaat?

I used to read JW when I was a kid. No way would I be happy with my daughter reading that. That's crazy.

Blimey. YANBU

CockyFox Fri 21-Jun-13 14:32:20

I've not read it but it does sound bad. I have never understood the attraction of JW books they all seen to only deal with depressing topics and who wants that asa child.
Anecdotally my brother was traumatised by reading the suitcase kid in infant school, he became sure my dad was planning on leaving us.

CbeebiesIsMyLife Fri 21-Jun-13 14:34:03

Wow, I remember watching that on tv when I was a teen. It didn't even occur to me she was innocent and he was an abuser. sad thank you for bringing it up.

<makes mental note to ban jw books>

josephinebruce Fri 21-Jun-13 14:35:25

Can't remember that, or any other JW book, so I guess they didn't influence me that much lol.

It is not unreasonable, however, to expect adults to act like adults when faced with silly teenage girls.

Housemum Fri 21-Jun-13 14:47:50

Is it still in print? Shocked if it is - it's certainly not one I've come across, but I do vet all JW books before letting DD2 read them as I don't approve of all of them (and would cheerfully slap Tracy bloody Beaker who gets away with anything).

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Fri 21-Jun-13 14:49:22

shock

Seriously?

That's disgusting. If it's not in print I'm glad but how the heck as Wilson still got a career?

5madthings Fri 21-Jun-13 14:54:40

Yanbu at all!

pipsqueakz Fri 21-Jun-13 14:56:25

Oh my days! Dd has almost all jw newer books think I'm gonna be making sure there appropriate! Very dissapointed! No more jw books for dd!

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 21-Jun-13 14:58:02

Is it still in print if you can buy it? Amazon is selling it still but only six copies left apparently. I've seen it in the library too (when I was hunting down other JW books) in the teenage section so still available that way too.

Eyesunderarock Fri 21-Jun-13 14:58:15
pipsqueakz Fri 21-Jun-13 14:58:23

You anbu! Am [shocked]

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 21-Jun-13 15:02:10

It does sound bad. I'd probably let my child read it but use it as an opportunity to talk about it and explain that it is never the child's fault and make sure they get that in their heads. I really don't see the point in never exposing children to what are real life situations.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 21-Jun-13 15:09:45

shock I remember that book... I used to love her stuff but looking back almost all had bad messages. I remember clearly wondering why in her books the girls were either overweight or underweight and how much time was devoted to them thinking about it, even the younger characters.

raisah Fri 21-Jun-13 15:10:20

My sister was addicted to jw books & other similar authors when she was a teenager, they filled her head with utter nonsense. My parents were happy that she was reading, they didnt realise that some of the content was inappropriate. Parents need to read some of the material their kids read before passing it on. It is madness as at that age teenagers like to think they are grown up and know whats best without realising they are putting themselves in vulnerable situations.

Hazelbrowneyes Fri 21-Jun-13 15:12:56

I loved JWs books as a child & I have fond memories of her books (the mum-minder, double act etc) but I've just read the synopsis of this book...bloody hell. I'm actually speechless. sad

OctopusPete8 Fri 21-Jun-13 15:20:45

I've found JW to be thought provoking,
I read the Illustrated Mum as a child, about a supposedly 'cool' mum,
but was also irresponsible , had MH problems and ended up being sectioned.

Is think meant to be a thinker?

OctopusPete8 Fri 21-Jun-13 15:22:17

Like displaying how young exploited girls are/were treat in these instances?.

How old are the people on this thread? I feel old! Op yanbu, book sounds dreadful

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