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Why is Jacqueline Wilson rewriting The Railway Children?

Why is Jaqueline Wilson rewriting The Railway Children? We discover how she plans to modernise this classic children’s novel

Jacqueline Wilson’s new job

Dame Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain’s best loved children’s authors. The Tracey Beaker writer is loved by kids around the country for her gritty novels that tell the truth about modern life. Now she is rewriting a bit of history with her modern day take on Edith Nesbit’s famous book The Railway Children.

Written in 1906, the book tells the story of a mother and her three children who had to move to the countryside after their father disappears. The children befriend an old man who helps them find out the truth about their father’s disappearance.

Now Dame Jacqueline has rewritten the book from the youngest child Phyllis’ point of view. ‘I’ve always loved Edith Nesbit’s wonderful classic The Railway Children. But I’ve also felt she wasn’t quite fair to the youngest child Phyllis,’ she says. ‘So I’ve reimagined the story from the youngest child’s point of view.’

A modern day version

As you’d expect, Jacqueline’s book is set to be a much more modern take on the book loved by generations. ‘In my modern story, there are no easy solutions,’ says Jaqueline. ‘But the children still have exciting adventures and I promise there’s a happy ending.’

The new book called The Primrose Railway Children will be published by Puffin Books on 16 September 2021. Modern illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Rachael Dean will also bring the book up-to-date.

Will there be a new film too?

Quite what Edith Nesbit would have made of Jacqueline’s up-to-date version we can only guess. But it’s fantastic to hear that such a great children’s author is going to inject some new life in this classic children’s novel. And who knows, maybe down the line, there will be a new version of the film too…