The Dare Game is the second book in Tracy Beaker series. It was written by Jacqueline Wilson and illustrated by Nick Sharratt. It was published in 2000.
The book is mainly an autobiography/diary of a young girl named Tracy Beaker, who lives in a care home that she has named, The Dumping Ground. She was placed there many years ago by her mother for domestic violence. This book follows Tracy considering being adopted by Cam Lawson but also her mum returns woo her with stuff. Meanwhile, she meets two boys at a abandoned house when ditching school.
Tracy and Cam often argue about anything, including Tracy's new school, where she has a ghastly class teacher, whom she has christened Mrs "Emesis" Bagley. She hates her. Most of her classmates spread rumors about her mum leaving her on purpose. Tracy says that her mum has to leave because she is a movie star in Hollywood. Tracy decides to exclude herself and go to her own secret house. After a few days she discovers she's not the only one who excluded herself from school as she meet two new friends, Alexander and Football. Alexander is a feeble little boy, whereas Football is the complete opposite, very burly, strong and large. Like Tracy, both boys have family problems: Alexander's dad hates him, and Football has a mother who is always going on at him; his dad has left, and keeps promising to take him to a football match, but he never does. They all stay at a secret house and play dares day after day, including one where Tracy hangs her underwear on a tree. But when Alexander has a go he falls of while football and tracy are lying in a bed, they realised when he lies cramped and stiff on the floor, even football agrees to help him Tracy looks astonished but still agrees to help. Suddenly, Tracy's mum, Carly, appears out of the blue, saying she wants her back. Tracy is allowed to stay with her for a weekend, where her mum showers her with expensive gifts. Cam is upset about losing Tracy, but Tracy is hell-bent on going to live with her mother forever.However, when she goes to her mother's for a second time, her and her mum have a great time for a while until her mum leaves her on her own for hours and hours while she attends a karaoke night at her local pub. Tracy feels frightened and anxious, remembering that this is what her Mum used to do when she was younger. When Carly eventually comes home she is accompanied by a man. They were obviously planning to get passionate, but Carly has to cancel their plans when she remembers Tracy is there. However, before he leaves, she arranges to spend the following weekend with him instead of Tracy. Tracy runs away, eventually choosing to live with Cam, who has always taken care of her.
I've bought a big fat purple notebook for writing down all my mega-manic ultra-scary stories in. But especially for my own story. Of how my foster-mum, Cam, has turned out to be a real meanie. No designer clothes, when I really need them. A pokey flat, and a horrible new school. No wonder I bunk off... Still, it will have to do until my real mum comes and gets me. And until then, no-one is going to be better at the Dare Game than Tracy Beaker!