A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
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What's the story?
In this updated version of THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB series (based on the original novels by Ann M. Martin), graphic novelists Raina Telegemeier and Gale Galligan add full color to friends Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn and their babysitting business. The girls team up to offer babysitting services to the neighborhood, but keeping kids safe, happy, and entertained isn’t the only complication in the girls’ lives. Mary Anne’s protective dad has a hard time letting her grow up, Claudia feels like an outcast in her family until her grandmother needs help, Stacey has a medical secret she’s embarrassed to share, Kristy has issues with friends and being a bridesmaid in her mom’s wedding, Dawn tries to fit in but feels like she’s always out, and sometimes the girls are broken into factions, fighting with each other. In other words, it’s a reflection of the messy lives tween friends face as they’re growing up but still need parents and teachers to guide them.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how each of the girls in The Baby-Sitters Club brings something different to the group. Which character do you most relate to, and why?
Which of your friends would you think about starting a business with, and why?
What other graphic novels have you enjoyed?
- Authors: Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, Ann M. Martin
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Graphix
- Publication date: April 28, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Paperback, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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