A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
There’s minimal academic content, but a whole lot of real-world education. Setting up and running a business is a huge undertaking, and the books show how detailed and responsive the girls have to be. There are also big life lessons about navigating friendships and how each person’s family life is hard and wonderful in its own way.
The girls are committed to each other, work hard, have a strong sense of responsibility, and like to have fun. They genuinely like babysitting and care about the kids.
Positive Role Models
All of the adults are supportive of the girls’ plans for the club, and try to help when the girls have trouble with each other or their families.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, with its sincere explorations of the dynamics of friendships and changing family situations, the graphic novel version of The Baby-Sitters Club series stays true to Ann M. Martin’s original and is a great read. The first four books are illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), and after that illustrator Gale Galligan takes over. Each book focuses on one girl, telling the story from her perspective and delving into the details of her life. Covering heavy topics such as divorce and the death of a parent along with more everyday moments when a girl feels like she doesn’t fit in, this series captures the spirit of being a tween with heart and humor, with strong friendships at the center of it all. The illustrations are vibrant and colorful, and as graphic novels, they're a quick read with real depth.
Is It Any Good?
While babysitting ties all the books together, the girls’ adventures wrangling kids (and sometimes pets) often takes a back seat to their own stories. The Baby-Sitters Club series is as much about how to navigate friendships as it is about running a small business. What stands out no matter what client issues come up or who has family problems is the girls’ commitment: Even when they’re arguing, they run the business together, and even when the business demands are overwhelming, they prioritize each other. The work-life balance is something most adults struggle with, and it’s nice to see a series that shows young readers, in a relatable way, why it’s a hard but worthwhile goal.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.