The Primrose Railway Children

The Primrose Railway Children

By Author / Illustrator

Jacqueline Wilson


Family & Home

Age range(s)



Penguin Random House Children's UK








From multi-million bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson and inspired by E. Nesbit's timeless classic, The Primrose Railway Children is a gorgeous, heart-warming story of family secrets and new adventures.  Sit back and enjoy the journey!

Phoebe Robinson loves making up stories - just like her wonderful, imaginative Dad.  When he mysteriously disappears, Phoebe, Perry, Becks and their mum must leave everything behind and move to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere.  Struggling to feel at home and missing her Dad terribly, Phoebe's only distraction is her guinea pig Daisy. Until the family discover the thrilling steam trains at the railway station and suddenly, every day is filled with adventure.  But Phoebe still can't help wondering, what is Mum hiding and more worryingly is Dad okay?



Have you ever read a book where the characters feel so real you think you know them? That they are friends and you are simply revisiting them when you pick the book up to read? This is exactly what Jacqueline Wilson has done with The Primrose Railway Children; she has masterfully created a family that you think you know, they just leap off the page. In fact, I found myself thinking of them and wondering how they were getting on when | wasn't reading the book!

The main character is Phoebe, a strong-minded and creative young girl who is incredibly close to her father. The love she feels for him is palpable actually and so is the sense of loss that she feels when he disappears. Her mother tells her that he has gone to an island and cannot contact them and you follow the family as the repercussions of his disappearance hit them like ripples. She has to leave their home and all their friends and move many miles away with her mum, her brother Perry and her sister Becks, to a tiny cottage without any of the home comforts that they are used to and start anew, but how can you do so when not all of you are there?

The family's lifeline is the steam trains that run at the local train station, like stepping back in time, and they settle into a new routine. Although as she feels more comfortable with her new life, she finds herself questioning her old one more and more. When she uncovers a secret that rocks her foundations, Phoebe struggles to come to terms with saying goodbye to all that she believed she knew, until one day an emergency occurs that makes her realise just how precious family really is.

As always, Jacqueline Wilson doesn't shy away from the difficult conversations in life but addresses them sensitively and appropriately. This book has gone straight into a year 6 classroom where we drew names from a hat as to who would get it first as so many of them wanted it!

512 pages / Reviewed by Niemi Mansfield, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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