Cover image for Bad girls
Bad girls
Wilson, Jacqueline.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
163 pages ; 22 cm
Ten-year-old Mandy must endure torment from three nasty bullies in school, but she finds solace in a new friendship with an older girl.
Reading Level:
550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 4.0 23470.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.5 8 Quiz: 24250.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Mandy White is a good girl who the bad girls like to pick on. Until a bigger, badder girl makes her her special friend. Tanya is a foster child across the street and she's nothing like good little Mandy. She's fun and she's tough and she wears really cool clothes. Of course, Mandy's overprotective mother wants her precious little daughter to have nothing to do with the new neighbor. But Mandy is growing up and learning a lot about herself and the real world. Like sometimes bad girls are truly terrible bullies. But sometimes, a bad girl can have the best heart and make the best friend.

Author Notes

Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath, England on December 17, 1945. She always wanted to be a writer and as a teenager, started working as a journalist for Jackie magazine. Since becoming a full-time writer, she has written numerous novels including The Dare Game; Bad Girls; The Worry Website; Lola Rose; The Diamond Girls; Clean Break; and Hetty Feather. Her novels have been adapted numerous times for television, and commonly deal with such difficult topics as adoption, divorce, and mental illness. She has also won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for The Illustrated Mum; the Smarties Prize, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Children's Book Award for Double Act; The Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award in 1995 for The Bed and Breakfast Star; and the 2002 Blue Peter People's Choice Award for The Story of Tracy Beaker. In 2015 she made the New Zealand Best Seller List with her title The Butterfly Club.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. Popular British author Wilson, whose works are punctuated by Nick Sharratt's lively drawings, returns with an easily identifiable story. Ten-year-old Mandy is being tormented by classmate Kim and her pals. The only child of older parents, Mandy has her hair braided and wears dresses decorated with bunnies, and she cries easily. But when the girls chase Mandy into the street, and she is almost hit by a bus, the truth about the teasing comes out. Wilson does her usual terrific job of mixing truth and humor. Kim et al. are vicious in exactly the way girls of that age often are. A punky teen becomes Mandy's salvation and a source of distress when the older girl's shoplifting catches up with both of them. There are a few problems: Mandy's overweight mother borders on the stereotypical; and the ending, in which Mandy's classmates learn through a classroom chat how bad bullying can be, seems like wishful thinking. But this is enjoyable fare, with excerpts from several of Wilson's previous books to tempt readers primed by this one. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

PW called this tale of a 10-year-old who flees three bullying classmates and gets hit by a bus "tightly written. The author proves that bad girls can make for a good story." Ages 8-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Although sharing the same title as Cynthia Voigt's Bad Girls (Scholastic, 1996), the similarity ends there. When her friend Melanie teams up with Kim and Sarah, 10-year-old Mandy White becomes the target of their taunts and gets hit by a bus while trying to run away from them. Despite the efforts of Mandy's mother, teacher, and principal, the girls continue to bully, only changing their tactics. Mandy copes better when she becomes friendly with 14-year-old Tanya, who lives in a foster-care home. Although Mandy disapproves of Tanya's shoplifting, the two end up at the police station when Tanya is caught. The author's depictions of the characters and situations ring true. The British expressions give the story a sense of place and do not interfere with its readability. It's unfortunate that the lighthearted cartoon illustrations belie the serious issues raised in the story.-Marilyn Ackerman, Brooklyn Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



They were going to get me. I saw them the moment I turned the comer. They were halfway down the street, waiting near the bus stop. Melanie, Sarah and Kim. Kim, the worst one of all. I didn't know what to do. I took a step forward, my sandal sticking to the sidewalk. They were nudging each other. They'd spotted me. I couldn't see that far, even with my glasses, but I knew Kim would have that great big smile on her face. I stood still. I looked over my shoulder. Perhaps I could run back to school? I'd hung around for ages already. Maybe they'd locked the playground gates? But perhaps one of the teachers would still be there? I could pretend I had a stomachache or something and then maybe I'd get a ride in their car? "Look at Mandy! She's going to go running back to school. Baby!" Kim yelled. She seemed to have her own magic glasses that let her see right inside my head. She didn't wear ordinary glasses, of course. Girls like Kim never wear glasses or braces on their teeth. They never get fat. They never have a silly haircut. They never wear stupid baby clothes. If I ran back they'd only run after me. So I went on walking, even though my legs were wobbly. I was getting near enough to see them clearly. Kim was smiling, all right. They all were. I tried to think what to do. Daddy told me to try teasing her back. But you can't tease girls like Kim. There's nothing to tease her about. Mom said just ignore them and then they'll get tired of teasing. They hadn't got tired yet. I was getting nearer and nearer. My sandals were still sticking. I was sticking too. My dress stuck to my back. My forehead was wet under my bangs. But I tried very hard to look cool. I tried to stare straight past them. Arthur King was waiting at the bus stop. I stared at him instead. He was reading a book. He is always reading books. I like reading too. It was a shame Arthur King was a boy And a bit weird. Otherwise we might have been friends. I didn't have any real friends now. I used to have Melanie, but then she got friendly with Sarah. Then Kim decided she'd have them in her gang. Melanie always said she hated Kim. But now was her best friend. If Kim wants you as a friend then that's it. You don't argue with her. She can be so scary. She was right in front of me now. I couldn't stare past her anymore. I had to look at her. Her bright black eyes and her glossy hair and her big mouth smiling, showing all her white teeth. I could even see her when I shut my eyes. It was as if she'd stepped through my glasses, straight into my head. Smiling and smiling. "She's got her eyes shut. Hey, let's bump into her," said Kim. I opened my eyes up quick. "She's crazy," said Sarah. "She's playing one of her pretend games," said Melanie. They all cracked up laughing. I couldn't stand it that Melanie had told them all our private games. My eyes started stinging. I blinked hard. I knew I mustn't cry no matter what. Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them ... "She's trying to ignore us!" said Kim triumphantly. "Did Momsie-Womsie tell you to ignore us mean nasty girlies, then?" There was no point trying to ignore her anymore. I couldn't, anyway. She'd stepped straight in front of me. She had Melanie on one side, Sarah on the other. I was surrounded. I swallowed. Kim went on smiling. "Where is Mommy, anyway?" she said. "Not like Mommy to let little Mandy sneak home all by herself. We were looking out for her, weren't we, Mel, weren't we, Sarah?" They always nudged each other and whispered and giggled when my mom went past. They nudged and whispered and giggled even more when Mom and I were together. One terrible time Momtook hold of my hand and they all saw before I could snatch it away. They went on about itfor weeks. Kim made up tales of baby harnesses and strollers and baby bottles. And a pacifier for the pitiful. They were nudging and whispering and giggling now. I didn't answer Kim. I tried to dodge around her but she dodged too, so she was standing in front of me. Right up close. Bigger than me. "Hey, I'm talking to you! You deaf or something? Had I better shout?" said Kim. She bent so close her silky black hair brushed my cheek. "Where's Mommy?" she bellowed into my ear. Excerpted from Bad Girls: American Edition by Jacqueline Wilson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.