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  • Girls Out Late
  • Written by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307433466
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Girls Out Late

Written by Jacqueline WilsonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jacqueline Wilson


List Price: $4.99


On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-307-43346-6
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
Girls Out Late Cover

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Ellie finally meets a boy. The right boy. And she wants to spend all her time with him. Her curfew is way too early, but if
her stepmother doesn’t tell, her father will never know she’s been out late. It’s not like anything bad is going to happen, and her father doesn’t need to know what she does every minute of every day. As long as she brings her friends along, everything should be all right. Too bad the best laid plans often go wrong!

From the Hardcover edition.


girl time

We're going out tonight, Nadine and Magda and me. It's not a Big Night Out. We're certainly not going to stay out late. We're just going on this little after-school shopping trip. No big deal at all. We'll meet at half past six at the Flowerfields Shopping Centre. Wander round the shops on their late night. We'll eat in McDonald's, then home by nine like good girls.

I don't bother to dress up or anything. I change out of my school uniform, obviously, but just into my black baggy trousers. They've been in the washing machine one spin too many times so that they're now technically not black at all, more a murky gray. Still, they're just about the only trousers in the whole world that are big without making me look enormous. They almost give the illusion that there's a weeny little bum and long lean legs hiding under all that bunchy material.

I try my newest stripy pink top but I'm not too sure about it now. It's a little too bright to be becoming. It makes my own cheeks glow positively peony. I wish I looked deathly pale and ethereal like my best friend Nadine. I'm stuck with permanently rosy cheeks--and dimples.

I search the airing cupboard for something dark and plain and end up purloining a dark gray V-necked school sweater belonging to my little brother, Eggs. It fits a little too snugly. I peer long and hard in my mirror, worrying about the prominence of my chest. No matter how I hunch up it still sticks out alarmingly. I'm not like my other best friend, Magda, who deliberately tightens the straps of her Wonder Bra until she can practically rest her chin on her chest. My own bras seem to be a bit too revealing. I try tucking a tissue in each cup so that I am not outlined too outrageously.

Then I attack my hair with a bristle brush, trying to tame it into submission. It's as if my entire body is trying to get out of control. My hair is the wildest of all. It's longish but so tightly curly it grows up and out as well as down. Nadine is so lucky. Her long licorice-black hair falls straight past her shoulders, no kinks at all. Magda's hair looks incredible, too, very short and stylish and bright red (dyed). It looks really great on her but if my hair was that short it would emphasize my chubby cheeks. Anyway, with my bright pink face I'd be mad to dye my hair scarlet. Not that my stepmum, Anna, would let me. She even gets a bit fussed when I use henna shampoo, for God's sake.

Anna eyes me now as I clatter into the kitchen to beg for some spare cash. Eggs is sitting at the table playing with the hands of my old alarm clock, muttering, "Four o'clock, telly time, fun. Five o'clock, more telly time, fun fun. Six o'clock, teatime, yum yum."

"That's my alarm clock," I say indignantly.

"But it's been broken for ages, Ellie. I thought it might help him learn the time. Do the big hand thing, Eggs," says Anna.

"Honestly, it's embarrassing having such a moron for a brother. And he was the one who broke it, fiddling around with the hands."

"Twelve o'clock, midnight, big sister turns into a pumpkin!" says Eggs, and shrieks with laughter.

"Are you off out, Ellie?"

"I'm just meeting Nadine and Magda to go late-night shopping."

"Seven o'clock, bathtime, splashy splashy. Eight o'clock, bedtime, yuck yuck."

"What about your homework?"

"I did it when I came home from school."

"No you didn't."

"I did, honestly."

"You were watching television."

"I did it while I was watching television."

I don't usually watch kids' TV but there's this new art program that has some amazingly cool ideas. I'm going to be a graphic artist when I grow up. I'm definitely not going to the art college where my dad lectures, though. I'm certainly not cut out to be one of his adoring students. It's weird to think that Anna was once. And my mum. She died when I was little but I still miss her a lot. Eggs isn't my whole brother, he's just a half.

"Thief!" Eggs suddenly screams, pointing at me. "That's my school jumper, take it off!"

"I'm just borrowing it for the evening."

He doesn't even like this school jumper. Anna has to sweet-talk him into it every morning. He prefers the weird, wacky, rainbow-colored concoctions that Anna knits for him. When he was going through his Teletubby phase he had four--purple, green, yellow and red--so he could be Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa or Po as the mood took him. Today Eggs is wearing his magenta Barney the Dinosaur jumper. I am immensely glad I am way past the stage of Anna making me natty knitted jumpers.

"But you'll muck it up," Eggs wails.

"I'll muck it up?"

Eggs is such a slurpy, splashy eater his clothes are permanently splattered orange (baked beans), yellow (egg yolk) and purple (Ribena). I examined his sweater for spots and stains very carefully indeed before putting it on.

"You'll make it smell."

"I won't! How dare you! I don't smell."

"You do, you do, doesn't she, Mum?" says Eggs.

"I don't," I say, but I'm starting to get panicky.

I don't really smell, do I? Has my deodorant stopped working? Oh God, does everyone back away from me with wary expressions and pinched nostrils and I just haven't noticed?

"Ellie doesn't smell," says Anna.

From the Hardcover edition.
Jacqueline Wilson

About Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson - Girls Out Late
Jacqueline Wilson is a bestselling author in Britain, second only to J. K. Rowling.

Jacqueline Wilson is the author of award-winning books, including The Suitcase Kid, The Lottie Project, Bad Girls, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Vicky Angel, and The Girls Quartet and she has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act, which was also highly commended for the Carnegie Medal.


Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath, Somerset, in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first “novel” when she was nine, filling countless Woolworths’ composition books as she grew up. She started work at a publisher and then went on to work as a journalist for D.C. Thomson in Scotland after she had an article published in Jackie magazine. Since having her daughter, Emma, she has been writing full time.

Jacqueline’s biggest passion and/or worst vice is buying books. She has over 15,000 books crammed into every corner of her small house—and they’ve started to creep across the carpets. Her favorite holiday place is Hay-On-Wye, which has about twenty secondhand bookshops.

Jacqueline has written numerous books for young people including: Bad Girls, Double Act, The Lottie Project, The Suitcase Kid, The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Bed and Breakfast Star, Cliffhanger, The Illustrated Mum and a quartet for slightly older readers, which includes Girls in Love (an ALA Quick Pick), Girls Under Pressure, Girls Out Late, and Girls in Tears. She has also written a series of crime novels and several plays, which have been broadcast on the radio.

Jacqueline has received countless honors and has won several awards in England, including The Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award for The Bed and Breakfast Star, the Smarties Prize, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Children’s Book Award for Double Act. The Illustrated Mum was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Awardand has won the Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. Girls in Tears received the W.H. Smith Children’s Book of the Year Award.


“Tender moments . . . and the funny narrative, filled with British colloquialisms, and clever exchanges . . . make this a breezy read.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wilson proves that bad girls can make for a good story.”
Publishers Weekly

“Wilson creatively reshapes [heroine] Charlie’s own experiences to depict the plight of a girl living 100 years earlier, thus adding new dimension to Charlie’s perceptions while offering intriguing period particulars.”
—Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Charlie’s creative writing is a gentle endorsement for using one’s imagination to work through problems. Readers will empathize with many of the situations Charlie copes with.”
The Horn Book Magazine

“Wilson again shapes a convincing and memorable heroine with a snappy, fresh voice.”
Publishers Weekly

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