Suitable for 8 - 15 years

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Rated 5/5 from 3 ratings

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Product description

When Mum and Dad split up, Em feels as though her heart has been torn out. Trying to cheer up her sister and brother, she looks for comfort in stories of heroes and heroines. But can Em become the heroine of her own story, and find a fairytale ending powerful enough to bring Dad back? A moving and ultimately uplifting story of life after family breakdown.

Product Details






Yearling (imprint of Random House Children's Books)

Date published

October 9th, 2008

Lexile measure


Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 4.4; Middle years; 9.0 points

Other details

  • 320 pages



UK edition

Available in these packs


Jacqueline Wilson

Photo of Jacqueline Wilson


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What kids think

  1. Casie321
    on 10 April 2018

    A wonderful book about a girl called Em. She helps make her younger siblings Vita and Maxie happy at the hardest of times. Great book. I would recommend.

    5 out of 5
  2. Maddie2005
    on 28 December 2016

    It is a nice christmas story

  3. evelizabeth
    on 20 August 2016

    best book ever

    5 out of 5
  4. poppygirl1232
    on 26 August 2015

    everyone should read this amazing,superb,fantastic,heartbreaking, imaginative, beautifull book!!!!!!!!!!

  5. izegbuwa
    on 11 July 2015

    is a moving story about a girl called emily who has a sister called vixe and a brother maxie whos mother and father has had an fight . it happens on a christmas when emily hopes that it will be the best christmas . if anyone wants to read it would be roughly the age of 9+

    5 out of 5
  6. graceyy2808
    on 22 October 2014

    Love this book ! Really good ! I think em is a good character ! she is really kind and sweetxx

    5 out of 5
  7. pink-lemonade-cupcake
    on 2 June 2014

    i dont relly like this book :(

    2 out of 5
  8. echo0108
    on 4 May 2014

    I am half way through this book and it is brilliant at the moment the most funniest part is when Emma is sick. it is sad when dad leaves home on Christmas day and Emma cry’s a lot and weeps. the only thing I did not like is that girl sarah

    5 out of 5
  9. BookDork
    on 23 April 2014

    loved it! Quite sad. It had an exciting ending and it left me wondering what was going to happen next! Jacqueline, great book!

    5 out of 5
  10. loobyloulou123
    on 9 March 2014

    i love this book….it rocks i have read it like 7 times and i am reading again!!!!!! if you haven’t read it,you’re making a big mistake read it now!!!!

    5 out of 5
  11. Potterfan7
    on 9 March 2014

    very good book i read this twice!

    5 out of 5
  12. Rumaitha12
    on 9 March 2014

    Amazing and wonderful.

  13. bee100xxx
    on 8 March 2014

    When Em’s Mum and Dad split up, she feels as if she doesn’t belong to anyone and as she is the oldest she tries to cheer up her little bro and little sis .She tries to conquer a plan and bring Dad back to the Family. Will it work?...

    5 out of 5
  14. zippy123
    on 8 March 2014

    fantastic book.

  15. books2000
    on 8 March 2014

    its good

  16. ElsieJW
    on 6 March 2014

    I love this book but i found it sad when Em’s mum and dad split up

  17. Booklover0109
    on 6 March 2014

    So sad yet brilliant book!!

  18. heart29
    on 5 March 2014

    A very good and emotional book and family relationships and breakups

    4 out of 5
  19. Lauren7777
    on 5 March 2014

    I wish I was em at the end signing the books she may have waited a while but it was worth it

    5 out of 5
  20. fantasticmissfox
    on 5 March 2014

    When Emily’s Mum and Dad split up it feels like the end of the world but she doesn’t have time to cry about it. she has to cheer up her little brother and sister, comfort her Mum and bare the spiteful attacks from her Granmother. Will Em’s Dad finally come back? An amazing read, very surprising and unputdownable.

  21. jacky5
    on 30 January 2014

    This book is very sad at the beginning because at the em’s dad leaves em and her family but that does not mean he didn’t love em. in will not tell u anymore so it can be a surprise for u

    5 out of 5
  22. chloe123410
    on 31 December 2013

    clean break is really sad when their dad leaves and it makes me glad my dad will never leave. when em goes to the book signing it makes me want to go to one for Jacquline Wilson even more.

    5 out of 5
  23. xoluchix
    on 23 October 2013

    Quite sad…....... It was Christmas day and their dad left the day after and it was really sad. It was a little rude sometimes but I think you’ll like it. They saw him quite often but they didn’t see him daily. He took them after school without their mum knowing to a beach far away. They arrived home really late about 9:30 feeling tired. Their mother was furious and told him to get out of her life and said she never wanted to see his face ever again. She announced that they where having a clean break but as time went by she regretted it to her widths. She cried every night hugging his pillow. They had one son Maxie the youngest, the middle child Vita and the oldest Emily. Includes a grumpy grandma as well.

    5 out of 5
  24. TheUltimateBookcase
    on 17 October 2013

    This is another one of Jackie’s lovely books about family issues and problems. I’d recommend this for people from 10-16 years of age.

    5 out of 5
  25. loudmouthmoo
    on 24 March 2013

    loved it jacquline wilson youve made an exellent book again.

    5 out of 5
  26. Emster123
    on 16 March 2013

    This book is truly amazing and one of Jacqueline Wilson’s best books (in my opinion!). She really makes each character have their own personality which is really helpful when you are reading the book because you can imagine yourself being them.

    The book is about a girl called Em who’s parents split up, and as she is the oldest sibling it’s her job to pull her family together and make them happy again, as they once were.

    I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages for 9-16, enjoy11 x

    5 out of 5
  27. samcharlie123
    on 8 March 2013

    This is a good book by Jacky. I like how Em plays with the reindeer (I think that was what it was!) puppet.

    5 out of 5
  28. KarlMagic33
    on 8 March 2013

    Really Good!

  29. bouncybunny
    on 4 March 2013

    This book faces real life challanges and the book solves the problems like in real life except for the end when the dad comes back ad the mum takes him back I know I wouldn’t if he cheated on me . I relly like the kids and iwas happy when the grandmother begins to date the man from spain.

  30. blackrose0
    on 28 October 2012

    ok read better though

    3 out of 5
  31. Emmatiger417
    on 29 May 2012

    This book was emotional but funny.

  32. AmyXx
    on 6 March 2012

    Great book…. Everyone my age (11-13) should read it…. Well thats what i think

  33. migit1
    on 4 March 2012

    this book is rally cool! at one point it is shocking but this book is recommended!

  34. la1397
    on 3 March 2012

    I loved Clean Break. Everything about it was so well written, and the storyline was so thoughtful and something that alot of kids could relate to. I loed the prancer puppet, I thought that part was really lovely!

  35. kicky105
    on 1 March 2012

    heartbreaking, exciting, inspiring, amazing!

  36. lids
    on 1 March 2012


  37. ab52725
    on 20 September 2011

    I loved this book eps when em’s stepdad told them stories about them having their own towers.I did not realy understand what happend at the end but i still love the book.

  38. xSairax
    on 13 August 2011

    A great read, sad at times though. I really hope her dad and her mum don’t get back together, because I liked her dad at the beginning, but then her left and I thought he wasn’t worth it. I was surprised when he left her!

    5 out of 5
  39. pingudasiy1
    on 6 July 2011

    it was ok but defo not the best

    4 out of 5
  40. rainbow3886
    on 29 April 2011

    This book got me into liking Jaqueline Wilson i love her

    5 out of 5
  41. lilyalone
    on 13 March 2011

    i loved it!! It was such a shame that ems dad left them for a different girl!

    5 out of 5
  42. gethi
    on 3 March 2011

    I think Em’s dad is just silly for leaving his three kids like that!

    4 out of 5
  43. Lolo95
    on 1 March 2011

    Em poor girl lost her Dad when she was young I feel so sorry for her, but of course this Jacqueline Wilson where talking about!! Of course she meets her Dad again and wants to see him everyday!! In the top 10 of my Jackie books!!

  44. osnapitzsafa
    on 1 March 2011

    I feel sorry for Em because she has to cheer her brothers and sisters up. Jacqueline Wilson is my all time favourite author. I give this book 5 stars.

    5 out of 5
  45. skyla
    on 20 November 2010

    THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5
  46. gebba
    on 2 April 2010


  47. Cheralcole8
    on 20 February 2010

    If you want to know about the book just ask me i know ALL about it and anyway i know this is nothing about the book but you DARE say John and Edward are bad.

    4 out of 5
  48. fruitylipschick
    on 13 January 2010

    I love the way Em’s stepdad calls her Emerald!

    4 out of 5