Railway Children is ‘reimagined’ for Generation Woke: Characters grapple with mental anguish in ‘modern’ makeover by Tracey Beaker author 

  • The new book by author Dame Jacqueline Wilson will be published in September
  • It is a retelling of Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children, first published in 1906 
  • Dame Jacqueline has written the book from the youngest child’s point of view 

Dame Jacqueline Wilson has written a reimagined version of classic children’s story The Railway Children to show the ‘modern’ struggles of the young in Britain today.

The author’s new book The Primrose Railway Children will be published by Puffin in September. The book has been illustrated by Rachael Dean.

It is a retelling of Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children, which was originally published in 1906.

Dame Jacqueline has written the new book from the youngest child’s point of view to highlight isolation and anxiety over her parents and to show how the young struggle to cope with change. 

She says she has also dropped the fairytale element of the book because, in her ‘modern’ story, there are ‘no easy solutions’.  

Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s new book The Primrose Railway Children will be published by Puffin in September

The Railway Children tells the story of a mother and her three children who move to the countryside after their father disappears.

Dame Jacqueline said: ‘I’ve always loved E Nesbit’s wonderful classic The Railway Children but I’ve also felt she wasn’t quite fair to the youngest child Phyllis.

‘All she can say about her is that ‘she meant extremely well’.

The Railway Children tells the story of a mother and her three children who move to the countryside after their father disappears

‘I’ve reimagined the story from the youngest child’s point of view.

‘The Nesbit book is very much a fairy story where every problem is wondrously overcome by heroic mother and an old gentleman friend.

‘In my modern story, there are no easy solutions – but the children still have exciting adventures and I promise there’s a happy ending.

‘Rachael Dean’s beautiful illustrations add an extra magical touch to the story.’

Dean said: ‘I am extremely honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with one of the best writers this country has ever produced.

‘As a young girl I would religiously read Jacqueline’s books, so to be able to illustrate this book for her now is truly surreal.

‘I feel very grateful and excited about what lies ahead.’

The Primrose Railway Children will be published on September 16.   

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