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Last Updated: Tuesday November 03 2009 15:03 GMT

Book Review: Hetty Feather

Hetty Feather

Jacqueline Wilson

Publication date

8 October 2009

The story

Unlike Jacqueline Wilson's other books, this book is set in the past. It's about a feisty young girl in the 1800s who was abandoned by her mum when she was a baby.

Hetty is left at the Foundling Hospital, in London, a place that cares for abandoned children and teaches them to be servants. But baby Hetty is too small to start school so she is sent to live with a foster family until she is six.

Life in the countryside is tough but Hetty spends her time with her foster brothers Jem and Gideon playing imaginary games.

Search begins

Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by Madame Adeline and her performing horses. But Hetty's happy childhood is shattered when she is forced to return to the Foundling Hospital.

The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother.

Could her mum be the wonderful circus performer she met all those years ago? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

The characters

The main character is of course Hetty Feather! She's very similar to Jacqueline Wilson's famous character Tracy Beaker - they are both feisty, stick up for their friends and won't take no for an answer.

Other characters include Hetty's bullying classmates at the Foundling Hospital and the nasty Matron Peters who runs the school and punishes Hetty for the smallest of things.


One of the best bits is when Hetty breaks in to the circus. The description of all the circus performers makes you think you are actually at the big top. Also the story becomes really exciting after this chapter!

The book is written from Hetty's point of view and this is a great way for readers' to experience life at the Foundling Hospital alongside her, especially when she is on a mission to find her real mother.

It makes you feel like you're right there with her desperately trying to piece clues together.

Any weak bits?

This book is probably one for the girls as there aren't many boys in the story.

Jacqueline and a girl dressed as a Foundling child
Jacqueline and a girl dressed as a Foundling child

If you like your books to be full of mind blowing action and fast paced adventure then Hetty Feather won't be for you.

This maybe a gripping story but it does take while to get going.

Also be warned, this book can be quite sad at times and not everyone gets a happy ending!


Yes! Jacqueline Wilson has written another amazing book. If you love Tracy Beaker then you'll certainly enjoy this too.

NR rating:


This reviews page is now closed. Here are some of the reviews you sent in.

Your Comments

"I think Hetty Feather is a great and well thought out book. At some parts it is quite sad but you get through that with the great characters."

Hannah, 11, South Lanarkshire, Scotland

"This book is awesome! I got it a couple of days ago and have been reading it ever since! It is unlike the rest of Jacqueline Wilson's books because it is set in the past. It's the best book I've read! Brilliant, go Jackie!"

Amirah, 13, Cardiff, Wales

"I have only read three pages of Hetty Feather and it is so cool I want to read on!!"

Bethany, 10, Solihull, England

"I love Jacqueline Wilson so I bet I'll love this."

Kitty, 10, Bournemouth, England

"I have not had the chance to read this book but it looks absolutely brilliant. I'm hoping to get it for Christmas."

Georgia, 12, Bedfordshire, England

"I have started reading Hetty Feather and I'm loving this book. It's sad at some points but I would strongly recommend this book."

Emma, 11, London, England

"Hetty Feather is a very inspiring book about doing what you think is right. It is set in 1876, and makes you put your feet in Hetty's shoes because we don`t know what it is was like. It is a book you can`t put down as it grips! It really makes you think. I loved it and I hope you do too. If I could give it a rating I'd give it five stars."

Aine, 9, London, England

"I love it and I recommend it to everyone. My favourite thing is the time period it's set and the child Hetty."

Megan, 12, Glasgow, Scotland

"I have just started this book. It's not as depressing as most Jacqueline Wilson books and I am enjoying it."

Zara, 12, London, England

"This book was surprisingly well written and quite interesting even though I sometimes find Wilson's books are a bit childish for my age."

Meg, 11, Kerry, England

"This book is great. Go Jacqueline Wilson!"

Kathryn, 12, Scotland

"Hetty Feather is great but can be sad at times. I really wished it was real but things like that did happen in the past."

Megan, 11, Cumbria, England

"It was a really good book and it made you feel like you were there with Hetty and the matron. It was AMAZING!"

Molly, 9, Gloucestershire, England

"It was absolutely the best book she has ever written!"

Megan, 11, Surrey, England

"I love this truly great adventure. I love Jacqueline Wilson's books and I think this one is the best. I give it 10/10!"

Emily, 9, London, England

"It was not as good as her other ones."

Charlotte, 11, Kent, England

"I am listening to this on my iPod and it is great. Another fantastic novel from a fantastic author."

Kerry, 11, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I think this book is great! I wish she would write more new books as we love to read them."

Nicole, 9, Hong Kong, China

"I would buy it, the colours on the front page and the blurb are just pure amazing and look attractive."

Nadir, 13, London, England

"It is very good and has lots of information in it about the characters and is a very brilliant book. Jacqueline Wilson, you've done it again."

Ellie-Jade, 9, Milton Keynes, England

"It's the best book I have ever read! I loved the setting, the characters and all of the adventures that Hetty had."

Eleanor, 12, Scarborough, England

"This book is very depressing. It is very exciting, but very sad at times. It helps you realise how lucky you are to be living today."

Zara, 12, London, England

"It is absolutely brilliant if you like stories about kids and their life!!"

Sarah, 11, Basingstoke, England

"I love it! I am already a Jacqueline Wilson fan but that is brilliant!"

Lauren, 9, Rochester, England

"I bought the book and it is brilliant. I am a Jacqueline Wilson super fan!!!"

Jade, 11, UK

"It's a really good book. I read it in a day and couldn't stop reading it. Buy this book!"

Lauren, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I love this book I will never get bored of reading it."

Amani, 9, London, England

"I LOVE this book! My mates and I met Jacqueline Wilson and got signed copies! It's really good and you can really see the characters and settings in your mind."

Emma, 12, UK

"It's fantastic!!!!"

Sarah, 12, Surrey, England

"It sounds great. I can't wait to buy it because we are doing the Victorians in school."

Gemma, 9, Wales

"I haven't read the book but the blurb and the plot sounds like it's a good read."

Megan, 10, South Yorkshire, England

"This is the best book I have ever read."

Keira, 11, Liverpool, England

"I could just picture the horses performing at the circus!"

Amy, 9, Scotland

"I thought Hetty Feather was a wonderful book! Jacqueline Wilson is my favourite author so I was really excited when my dad told me she had written a new book! I think Hetty Feather is so sad in some parts it makes me want to burst into tears! But it's so funny in other parts that it makes me want to laugh out loud! My favourite character is Hetty because she's so determined and lively."

Maeve, 10, Ireland

"I think that too many (if not all) of Jacqueline Wilson's books are about orphans and other family problems. It will be interesting to see how she writes about the past."

Regina, 12, UK

"I really want to read this because I think I would like it."

Dione, 9, Wales

"I think that it's brilliant and it makes me feel involved in the story."

Erin, 11, Renfrewshire, Scotland

"It is a great book and I think Jacqueline Wilson is a very good author."

Sophie, 9, Kent, England

"I haven't read it yet but I am going to get a copy signed by Jacqueline Wilson on Wednesday."

Amy, 13, Bournemouth, England

"I got it the day it came out and it is really good. It also teaches you stuff at the same time but it is really sad and gripping."

Georgia, 11, Southampton, England

"I think this book is really good and I recommend it for children aged 10 to 15. It is really sad at times, but if you like Jacqueline Wilson, then this is definitely the book for you. I rate this 9/10. I wouldn't recommend this for people who like a happy ending."

Rebecca, 12, Surrey, England

"I think Jacqueline Wilson's new book Hetty Feather looks very interesting and I can't wait to read it when it is in the shops. Jacqueline is my favourite author is because she always puts a lot of detail into her books."

Tony-Marie, 11, Edinburgh, Scotland