Dustbin baby by Jacqueline Wilson

Dustbin BabyPublication Date: October 1, 2002

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

Pages: 160

Targeted Audience: Young Adult/Childrens

Genre: Contemporary/Realistic fiction

Blurb: April Showers (so called because of her birth date, April 1, and her tendency to burst into tears at the drop of a hat) was unceremoniously dumped in a rubbish bin when she was only a few hours old. Her young life has passed by in a blur of ever-changing foster homes but as she enters her teens she decides it is time to find out the truth about her real family.

This book was recommended to me by Beez.

She said it was a good read.

She said I would enjoy it…

I cried like a freaking baby.

This book is about a girl named April who is being fostered by an old-fashioned woman named Marion. On her 14th birthday (April 1, hence the name), she decides to go and finally dig deeper into her past, to finally find her real mother. And along with her we are taken into her past.

Jacqueline Wilson is an amazing woman. Whenever she wrote a flashback it didn’t FEEL like it was a flashback. It didn’t feel like there was past information being dumped on me. Everything felt right. Authors… THAT is how you do multiple flashbacks.

Now along April’s journey we meet her first “mummy” and “daddy”, a relationship that did not end well, we saw her being mentally bullied by another girl in another foster home, turn into a burglar in an orphanage of sorts and then finally be taken into care by Marion. In the middle of these flashbacks we meet the woman who first took care of her when she was a baby since her real mother had given birth to her behind a restaurant and dumped her in the dustbin (hence the title). We also meet the girl who had taken April under her wing for the burglaries and finally we come upon the very restaurant where she was born.

I don’t want to give away too much info about the plot of this book as almost everything is a spoiler. All I can say is that this book has some amazing character development and the plot moves in a way that it’s hard to put this book down. A definite page-turner. This is the first Jacqueline Wilson book I read and I would definitely read more of her amazing work.

Before I end this review, I just want to address the reason why I cried a lot during this book. It’s because of everything April went through at such a young age. It made me feel truly blessed. There have been countless moments where I have hated my parents or pondered upon the idea of running away from them but this book makes me appreciate the fact that I was AT LEAST born with parents who were willing and caring enough to contribute in my upbringing.

I have never been in April’s situation but I could still relate to her because it could have easily been me and that thought is scary. I have never read a book about orphans before (not including Harry Potter since the plot was not about him finding his parents) so I guess that’s partly the reason I cried so much and also because stories about child abuse of any kind make me cry a lot.

Recommendation: To anyone who wants to cry their eyes out and wants to appreciate their parents and upbringing. A book that you will relate to despite not having gone through anything similar.

Rating: 4/5 cupcakes (loses one cause it was a little slow in the beginning)

4 cupcakes

Lots of love,

Raven

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