"Lily isn't home ALONE - but she sort of wishes she was; looking after her three younger siblings is a lot of responsibility.
When Mum goes off on holiday with her new boyfriend and her stepdad fails to show up, Lily is determined to keep the family together and show they can cope without any grown-ups. But taking care of 6-year-old twins, her 3-year-old sister and the family's flat feels overwhelming and Lily is worried that school or social services might discover their situation and break up the family. What could be better than to take all the little ones for a camping adventure in the park? Plenty of space to run about, no carpet to vacuum, and surely no chance anyone will guess they're there . . ."
Jacqueline Wilson is one of my favourite authors. I have read all her books apart from The Longest Whale Song, which looks very good (I actually own it now, so I need to hurry up and read it)! Anyway, I was very eager to read this book as it sounds brilliant, and there have been positive reviews. I borrowed it off a friend and loved it!
Lily is eleven years old and has a 6-year-old brother and sister, plus a 3 year-old sister. Her Mum finds a new boyfriend and she goes on holiday with him. She doesn't sort out babysitting very well, as she just leaves a message on her ex husbands (Lily's step dad) phone. He fails to turn up and Lily is held responisible. It is hard, there are so many things to think about; school, food, laundry and keeping their mouths shut so Social Services don't find out. Because if they do, Lily will be seperated from her family.
The siblings are oblivious to what might happen if anybody finds out, which makes looking after them more difficult. Baxter loves his dad but Lily can't stand him. He is brave, bold and a rebel! Bliss is his twin, but they are nothing alike. She is quiet, thoughtful and worries too much, yet she is sensible. Pixie is the cute toddler which everyone is sure to find adorable! Despite Pixie's endless demands for ice cream, she is too lovable. I don't think I can decide my favourite...
Lily eventually decides to take them to the park for the rest of the days. She finds a hollow tree where they can camp in. I love the idea of camping in the beautiful garden Wilson carefully describes. It sounds so pretty, and you can feel as if you are with them watching it.
I recommend this book to 9+. It is a moving and emotional story but a fun read. It could have ended better, and at times I found it a bit babyish, but apart from that, this novel is a must-read. Click here to see the great trailor. Everyone will love this - boys an girls, old and young alike!