A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Postive messages about growing up, even when it might mean growing away from your friends. Also carries a message about staying friends even when your interests change, being responsible as a way to convince parents to give more freedom, and the importance of not letting peer pressure force you to take on more mature roles before you are ready.
Positive Role Models
Kristy finds ways to support her friends during times of disappointment and maintains faith in her father even when he lets her down; Stacey learns to deal with her diabetes and welcomes the challenges of moving to a new city; Mary Anne focuses on the troubles her best friend is having and convincing her father to let her take on more responsibilities.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Claudia has her first crush on a ninth grade boy, the same boy her older sister likes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this slow-paced prequel spinoff series remains true to the old Baby-sitter's Club series with its innocent tone, and since the girls are younger there are no real teen "problems." The girls at 11 years old and moving away from slumber parties to fashion and boys. Stacey's diabetes is dealt with in a straightforward manner, as is the divorce between Kristy's parents. Parents who were fans of Martin's earlier series may enjoy sharing this book with their kids, but it's not essential to read this prequel in order to enjoy the original series.
Is It Any Good?
This is a sweet, slightly dated story about friendship and how it can smooth the bumpy road to growing up. The friendship between Kristy and overprotected Mary Anne is the strongest, and they support and love each other like sisters. The classic dilemma of growing up faster (or more slowly) than your friends is dealt with in a believable and natural story arc and may be reassuring to girls who are noticing that their friends are changing. The cruelty of girls this age who willingly torment other girls or stand by and watch it happen is depicted with a stark awareness of the damage it can do, and Stacey is lucky she is moving to a new town where she can make new friends and leave the cruelty behind. For girls stuck in that situation, it may not reveal many coping strategies, though they may find solace in reading about someone else going through the same thing.
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Our Editors Recommend
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