Sunday, January 13, 2013

Retro Book Reviews: "Kristy's Great Idea" (Baby-Sitters Club #1)

When I posted not too long ago about my reading and writing goals for 2013, I forgot to mention one other reading goal - which was actually the first one I'd thought of - that this year, I would challenge myself to read through the entire Baby-sitters Club series. I grew up on the series, reading it as a kid, and never really stopped reading the books even after I got to be grown-up, because they were short, easy reads - and because I always enjoy revisiting these favorite characters from childhood. I also decided that along with reading the books, I would write a short review of each. This way grown-up fans like myself might be spurred on to revisit the series with fresh eyes, and so that those unfamiliar might decide to delve into the series and meet the members of The Baby-sitters Club for the very first time.

And review of the very first book in The Baby-sitters Club series, Kristy's Great Idea!

Photo Credit: Baby-sitters Club Wiki

Baby-sitters Club #1: Kristy's Great Idea

First, a little background: The entire series takes place in and around the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut, and each book is narrated by one of the members of the Baby-sitters Club.

In this first book, readers are introduced to 12-year-olds Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, and Stacey McGill, who are all in seventh grade at Stoneybrook Middle School. Kristy is a tomboy with three brothers who loves sports; Mary Anne is an only child whose widowed father treats her like a baby; Claudia is a budding artist who hates school and has a genius for an older sister; and Stacey is a New York City transplant hiding an important secret.

Main Plot: Kristy comes up with the idea to form a baby-sitting club with her friends Mary Anne and Claudia, and they also ask Stacey, the new girl in town, to join. After the four girls organize their club and start getting job calls, they have some very interesting (and funny) baby-sitting experiences! But their friendships also end up being tested, which makes them wonder if the club will fold or persevere.

Secondary Plots: Kristy has trouble accepting her divorced mother's new boyfriend, Watson, and his two kids; Stacey seems to be hiding some kind of secret, but Kristy, Claudia and Mary Anne can't figure out what it is.

Why I liked this book: Having grown up on this series, it was fun to revisit this first book and be reacquainted with the origins of the club and its original four members.

Interesting Tidbits: The series ran from 1986 to 2000, selling 170 million copies. It went briefly out of print in 2009, only to see a renewed interest in 2010 when the early books were updated and reissued, and Ann M. Martin released a prequel called "The Summer Before." The series saw new life again in December 2012, when the first 20 books in the series were released as e-books for the very first time.

1 comment:

  1. i remember reading this one! i only read a few of the series, but i remember being impressed with the idea of a club. it seemed very enterprising to me at the time. thanks for the blast from the past!...b