“ Author: Jacqueline Wilson / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 05 August 2010 / Genre: Children's Historical Fiction / Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK / Title: Hetty Feather / ISBN 13: 9780440868354 / ISBN 10: 0440868354 „
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Hetty Feather is the first of three books about the life of the title character. The second book is Sapphire Battersea and the third Emerald Star.
Each book in written by the popular children's author Jacqueline Wilson and illustrated by Nick Sharratt.
This hardback copy has a RRP of £12.99.
The book has 392 pages and was published in 2009.
Each book is written in the style of Hetty's memoirs. Hetty Feather was born in 1876, in the days when it was seen as a terrible sin to have a child out of wedlock.
This is how Hetty was given up as a baby and sent to the Foundling hospital with other children like herself.
At first she wasn't even named, just referred to as 256291. Then she was given the name Hetty Feather and sent to a new home in the country to try and build her up and make her strong until she started school back at the Foundling hospital, she will be sent back when she is almost 6.
This new home belonged to a couple called peg and john, who Hetty saw as her mother and father. They had also taken in other foundlings babies and brought these babies up along with their own children. Hetty recalls the fun and games she played at their home, her love for her brother Jem, playing in trees and fields etc. It seems Hetty is having a wonderful childhood until she realises that it isnt going to last much longer.
When she hears the mother getting up and going out with one of her brothers in the middle of the night and returning without him, Hetty remembers the same happening to another of their children and wants answers. They decide to explain that eventually Hetty would be sent away too but they will keep their own children. Unsurprisingly, Hetty is not happy and no matter how good they try to make the hospital sound, she is desperate to stay with her family. She does try pull a couple of stunts to get out of going but none of them work and eventually the day to leave arrives. It is a sad day for all the family but for Hetty it is made slightly easier by her brother Jem's promise that one day they will be reunited and marry (they are not actually blood related after all).
Hetty hates the school, she was made to hand over her clothes, her doll, is not allowed contact with the outside world and she isn't getting along with the staff or the other children from day one. Eventually she makes a friend, but she is soon sent to a new home and Hetty feels very low and alone and pushes away the only people who are kind to her, nurse Winnie and Ida from the kitchen.
Each day is the same, the teachers don't like her, they punish her for being inquisitive and wanting to learn more as they are only taught very basic literacy and numeracy. They spend more time at the school doing chores make them good servants which is what they will all be doing at 14 when they leave the hospital. Hetty has other ideas, she doesn't want to be a servant, she needs to find her real mum, publish her memoirs and maybe even join the circus.
Will she achieve any of her goals?
I really enjoyed this book. I think it would appeal to a wide range of ages and is certainly one which adults and children alike would enjoy. The guide age for this book is 8 to 12 but I see no reason why over 12's wouldn't enjoy it.
I really like Hetty's character,this tiny waif like girl certainly makes up for her small size with a huge personality. She is a daydreamer, she is intelligent, she speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in at any cost.
The book is very good and has some funny and entertaining chapters, yet also includes some sadness and is also a bit educational, showing what life was like growing up in the Victorian age. Although I had already ruined parts of the book by reading the last book first, I still thought it was excellent and started on the second book straight away.
This book is set in London, in the 1800s. Hetty Feather is a foundling baby, who is destined to live her life as a servant. Hetty has other ideas! Hetty is just a tiny baby when she is brought to the hospital by her mother. She is then, as well as all other foundlings, given to a foster home in the country, to be looked after by her foster parents, John and Peg. The young girl gets up to lots of adventures at her foster home even though they are poor, and her foster brother Jem even takes her to the circus, where she sees Madame Adeline, who she believes is her real mother. When Hetty and her foster brother Gideon turn five at last, Mother has to take them to the hospital once again, where they are all separated. Hetty despises the hospital, wishing the Matrons, who she has nicknamed Matron Stinking Bottomly, and Matron Pig faced Peters, dead. When she is in the infants, she is looked after by Nurse Winterson. Hetty calls her Winnie and they both seem very fond of one another. To make matters worse, her foster sister Martha can't remember her or a thing about home. Hetty swears to remember everything. She makes friends with the cook, Ida, and a girl named Polly, though she is adopted in the middle of the book. There is a very good twist in the end, though I'm sure if you paid enough attention, you would have, like me, guessed it already.
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. If you get it now, you might finish it and it's equally great sequel, in time for the last book in October.