Louise Rennison died yesterday, much to the shock of her peers, and obviously to her many fans.
I was thinking that I didn’t know her or her books terribly well, but as always when you start to think, memories pop up. 14 years ago as I began my volunteering in Offsprings’ secondary school library, Louise’s Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging topped its informal list of girls’ favourite books, with me busy sitting there never having heard of Louise or her – to me – oddly titled book.
That soon changed, but Louise wrote her Georgia Nicholson novels faster than I could read, so I never became a follower. I did buy Angus in Swedish translation, though, to tempt Daughter to read something real in that language, and recall a steamy passage which we read together.
It was the book I brought to Godalming when Louise was crowned Queen of Teen in 2008, and we chatted very briefly about this strange version of her bestseller. A more suitable teen Queen you couldn’t have hoped for; and I’m not surprised her fans voted for her in such great numbers.
We met her later in Edinburgh, only to encounter the one time a publicist wanted no pictures taken [for some obscure reason]. The photo above has been widely used and ‘borrowed’ and was taken with Louise’s permission, despite the protective publicist gunning for us again…
The picture below has also been borrowed quite a lot, and was from Louise’s official photoshoot in Charlotte Square a year or two later.
And eventually I did catch up with her work, enjoying her Withering Tights. That’s the title, and no reflection on her wardrobe. My vote for best legs in the children’s books world definitely goes to Louise.
(Photos by Helen Giles)