4.2 (1,135 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's 1953, the year Elizabeth is to be crowned Queen of England. Elsie Kettle can't wait to go to London to see the celebrations on Coronation Day. Elsie lives with her Nan - her mum works as a showgirl, so she's not around very often. Spirited and imaginative, but often lonely, Elsie longs for a best friend. Luckily, she and Nan are very close; Elsie just wishes she was allowed a cat to keep her company sometimes. Then tragedy strikes. Nan and Elsie both fall ill with tuberculosis, and Elsie finds herself whisked away to the children's ward of the hospital. Confined to bed for months on end, Elsie finds it very hard to adapt to the hospital's strict regime. But she invents astonishing ways of entertaining the other children on the ward, and for the first time finds herself surrounded by true friends - including Queenie, the hospital's majestic white cat. Finally, Elsie is well enough to leave hospital. But before she does, she has one very special, very unexpected visitor...show more

Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 26mm | 240g
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Yearling (imprint of Random House Children's Books)
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B/W throughout
  • 0440869889
  • 9780440869887
  • 89,901

Review quote

"A master storyteller" The Good Book Guideshow more

About Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson is an extremely well-known and hugely popular author who served as Children's Laureate from 2005-7. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the British Children's Book of the Year and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award (for The Illustrated Mum), the Smarties Prize and the Children's Book Award (for Double Act, for which she was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal). In 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and in 2008 she was appointed a Dame. She was the author most borrowed from British libraries in the last decade. 'A brilliant writer of wit and subtlety' THE TIMES 'She should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Has a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues' BOOKSELLERshow more

Back cover copy

22nd April 1953 Miltree Orthopaedic Hospital Dear Nan, It’s been weeks and weeks since I arrived at Miltree and I don’t like it here one little bit. The boy in the next bed is horrid and Nurse Patterson has really got it in for me. Thank goodness I have my lovely Nurse Gabriel and Queenie, the beautiful hospital cat. She’s my very best friend on the children's ward and she’s curled up on my tummy right now, purring away. The doctors say my knee is mending but it’s hateful being stuck in bed all day. I do hope your cough is getting better too. Nan, I miss you so much. But maybe we’ll both be well again in time to go to the Coronation . . . Lots and lots of love, Your Elsie xxxxxxshow more

Review Text

"A master storyteller"show more

Rating details

1,135 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 50% (568)
4 30% (335)
3 14% (155)
2 5% (56)
1 2% (21)
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