Suitable for 9 - 10 years

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Product description

Covered from head to foot with glorious tattoos, Marigold is the brightest, most beautiful mother in the world. Dolphin would do anything for her. She just wishes her beautiful mum wouldn’t stay out partying all night, or forget to buy food and pay the bills, or go weird now and then. Older sister Star isn’t so sure anymore. She loves Marigold too, but sometimes she just can’t help wishing things were more normal. And when Mum starts to fall apart, what should Dolphin do? Is her illustrated mum still in the picture? A humane and moving portrait of a child coming to terms with a parent’s mental illness, which derives its pathos from the gulf between Dolphin’s innocent view of the world and the reality of her mother’s plight.

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Product Details





Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 4.0; Upper years; 9.0 points

Other details

  • 224 pages



Available in these packs


Jacqueline Wilson

Photo of Jacqueline Wilson

Nick Sharratt

Photo of Nick Sharratt


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What kids think

  1. Cyrilthecat
    on 23 March 2018

    The way Jacqueline Wilson has written this book is amazing! It is such a touching read!

    5 out of 5
  2. Blossom-1
    on 6 September 2016

    This book is so good!

    5 out of 5
  3. Potterfan7
    on 9 March 2014

    A good book for older readers, people who dont mind a twist and a turn sometimes

  4. Rumaitha12
    on 9 March 2014

    This book is really wierd but i still liked it.

  5. bee100xxx
    on 8 March 2014

    Dolphin would do anything for her mum but she just wishes she could look after her and her sister,Star more or at least HERSELF! None of them are sure they could keep this up anymore and Marigold is falling apart!

    5 out of 5
  6. AngelofDeath
    on 8 March 2014

    Very intriguing and touching

  7. books2000
    on 8 March 2014

    its good

  8. Booklover0109
    on 5 March 2014

    This book is great for people who believe in happy endings.

    This book has lots of ups and downs.

    It was a lot of fu to read

    4 out of 5
  9. queenie13
    on 8 March 2013

    i am reading it but love it so far

    5 out of 5
  10. samcharlie123
    on 8 March 2013

    A good book, probably for older readers.

    5 out of 5
  11. TwilightChick96
    on 8 March 2013

    I really loved this book.

  12. KarlMagic33
    on 8 March 2013

    Really Good!

  13. ellie-melay27
    on 7 March 2013

    really good book! i love jacqueline wilson a lot! she is one of my favourite authors. this book 6/5! it is sad in places but i love it ever so

  14. bugzy72
    on 7 March 2013

    its a good book

  15. pawprint2
    on 6 March 2013

    Another good read from jacky!!

    5 out of 5
  16. Too-Amazayn
    on 5 March 2013

    JW’s knack for writting good books for kids shines here, bit sad, but enjoyable

    4 out of 5
  17. lap312i
    on 4 March 2013

    this book was ok

  18. Sherlock25
    on 4 March 2013

    This is a great book on the troubles of having a mum who is a big kid at heart it really tugs at your heart strings and makes you feel for the characters and what they go through to try and be happy. highly recommended

  19. bouncybunny
    on 4 March 2013

    I enjoyed this book up untill star left dolphin I thought that was mean and horrible of her .I was glad when dolphin found her dad but was still a little bit upset because of what happend to her mum

  20. madistar23
    on 29 August 2012

    Although I may have read this a while ago, it was still an amazing story.

  21. AmyXx
    on 6 March 2012

    I loved this book so much!

  22. sweethart184
    on 2 March 2012

    a lovely book

  23. aeroaeromonkey
    on 2 March 2012

    Sooo good and sooooo realistic

    3 out of 5
  24. kicky105
    on 1 March 2012

    Dolphin’s mum is covered in tattoos, but she slowly begins to fall apart, but can dolphin and her sister build Marigold back up?

  25. lids
    on 1 March 2012


  26. salimisra
    on 1 March 2012

    a faboulas book about a mad mom who has 2 daughters star and dolphin, they are very poor but wil lthey be able to survive?

    5 out of 5
  27. SmileyJess
    on 11 November 2011

    Hmm, it was okay, not to keen on the story but yet, Jaqueline Wilson is a good writer :D

    3 out of 5
  28. lovelaura
    on 2 November 2011

    i am a big fan of Jaqueline Wilson. I love all her books;however, this book was actually quite touching a down to earth, its about 2 sisters living a life of looking after their crazy mum. her mum acts like a 16 year old, full of tatoos and peircings and a 100000 crazy boyfreinds….

    i recommend this to girls from 10+. for girls who like to read about real life touching stories.

    5 out of 5
  29. xSairax
    on 13 August 2011

    Sad at times, but it gets better. It’s like a real-life situation, and shows you how Dolphin really feels. I’m glad she has Olly as a friend.

    4 out of 5
  30. ribena
    on 3 March 2011

    Loved this book but found it very sad. It made me think of a friend of mine whose family was very similar to this one. Brilliant story by a brilliant author.

    5 out of 5
  31. gethi
    on 3 March 2011

    Very long book!

    5 out of 5
  32. angel311
    on 3 March 2011

    This book is amazing! I love the author Jacqueline Wilson! She writes great books! I love the way the book ends!

    5 out of 5