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A review by Ishara Perera-Driver (age 11)

Diamond is the fourth book in the Victorian-set Hetty Feather series (which I really enjoyed). Although this book is part of the series, it focuses on Diamond (originally named the slightly less sparkly Ellen-Jane Potts) and Hetty doesn’t make an appearance until the middle of the book.

Diamond, our main character, was born into a penniless family. She was sold to work as the acrobatic child wonder in a travelling circus, where little did she know, drama and a surprising turn of events awaited her.
From the beginning of the book, I was hooked and didn’t want to put the book down as the story unfolded. The story moved at the perfect pace, however I did have to read over some parts again just because they were so surprising!

The friendship that grows between Hetty and Diamond throughout the book is beautiful and soon, they become more than friends, they become like the sisters neither of them ever had.
Jaqueline Wilson fans will adore this book as it is easy to connect and feel empathy towards the characters, especially Hetty and Diamond, as you experience the horrible and wonderful things that happen to Diamond and her friends. Readers familiar with the series will also love the way the story is written from a different character’s perspective.

All of the usual features of a Jacqueline Wilson novel are here, like the struggling family, the surprising, yet quite mild, violence, but the prominent message of the strength of love and friendship.

This book, I found, was easy to understand and a great read because I felt as though I was in the book, experiencing the things that happened, the thrill of the moment or the sadness or the event. With the scenes being descriptive, I could easily picture them and truly live in the moment and let my imagination paint pictures in my head. 

At first I thought Diamond, being the fourth book, would be the ending to the series, but the ending of the book isn’t really an ending. It gives the reader the impression that there is going to be a sequel and that the end is just a new beginning for the two close friends.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the other three in the series, I recommend that before reading this book, you read the other three just so you can truly appreciate the book and understand the characters from a better perspective. With the strong female characters and the pretty sparkly cover with Nick Sharratt’s amazing illustrations, this is a great gift and a wonderful read.

The BunnieBuzz review:

Introducing Diamond, the Acrobatic Child Wonder!  Jacqueline Wilson’s fourth novel set in ‘the world of Hetty Feather’ is as bold and as brilliant as its title. Readers are invited to return to Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus where we first met Diamond, the talented child acrobat. Full of suspense and sparkle, Diamond’s story will have readers sitting on the edges of their seats like the audiences for her act.

Originally called Ellen-Jane, Diamond is born into an impoverished family in Victorian England. When her mother passes away, Ellen-Jane’s father leaves the family destitute, forcing Ellen-Jane to earn what pennies she can entertaining folk in the marketplace. Unfortunately, Ellen-Jane’s impressive acrobatic display catches the attention of a steely-eyed stranger and after a deal is struck with her father, she finds herself sold off to the circus!

Jacqueline Wilson is a writer who rarely trips and tumbles and this novel is no exception. The narrative catapults and cartwheels in the most exciting ways: it seems that there are no limits to the challenges Diamond must face as a circus trainee. Readers will wince as she endures the brutal bone-cricking of professional acrobatic training and the cruel beatings inflicted by Beppo the Clown when she lets fear gets the better of her. Luckily, Lady Adeline with her slices of pink cake and Mr Marvis with his troop of performing monkeys offer some much needed sweetness to Diamond’s sorry fate and her best friend Hetty makes circus life just about bearable.

Wilson has left the novel tantalisingly open-ended which suggests that this is not the last we will hear of Diamond and her best friend Hetty. Hopefully she hasn’t put away her pens just yet, as here at BunnieBuzz we are eager for more!

Written by Jacqueline Wilson
Lydia Mihailovic, literary editor
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