03 February 2010


Reading Diary: BSC #1 Kristy's Great Idea

Need a baby-sitter?
Save time! Call:


Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5:30--6:00
and reach four experienced baby-sitters.

Kristy Thomas, President
Claudia Kishi, Vice-President
Mary Ann Spier, Secretary
Stacey McGill, Treasurer

Available: weekends, after school, evenings

Would you believe that this is only my second Baby-Sitters Club book? (I was a Sweet Valley girl, remember? When I was a tween, Bantam's marketing engine was much bigger than Scholastic's--and that was a time when Scholastic actually had books with heart rather than the formulaic, lowest common denominator YA it hawks today . . . but I digress!)

So I'm two books in, and yet I think I already love this series. An after-school tutor is really just a glorified baby-sitter, and there is so much about my job that makes me wish I had a club of close friends to talk everything over with. Barring that, I guess I can just escape into Stoneybrook, circa 1986. Thank you, library clearance sales and used bookstores!

More Proof That Scholastic Really No Longer Gets It

(Oh, dear, am I digressing again?)

Kristy Thomas has her truly great idea one evening, after she watches her mother call up four different girls and fail to find a sitter for her little brother.

My idea was that Mary Anne and Claudia and I would form a club to do baby-sitting. We would tell people (our clients) that at certain times during the week we could all be reached at one number. We would hold our meetings during those times. That way, when someone needed a sitter, he or she could make one phone call and reach three different people. One of us would be available for sure. Of course, people could call us individually at other times, but the beauty of the meetings would be the opportunity to reach several baby-sitters at once. That way, our clients wouldn't have to go through what Mom had just gone through at dinner.

Sure enough, her two friends Mary Anne and Claudia, and Stacey, a girl who has just moved into town, think she's on to something; and before the end of school lunch the next Friday, the nucleus of the Baby-Sitters Club is formed. (Where, oh, where is my time machine with that book hopping function?)

One thing I love about this opening to the series is how promisingly gossipy it is. Baby-sitters have all the dirt, you know. The members of the BSC also happen to have a notebook in which they keep written records of all their jobs . . .

Saturday, September 27

There were a few problems at Watson's house. When I said Andrew and Karen were cute, I meant they were cute-looking. They were cute-acting, too, most of the time. But sometimes Karen was a pill. That was one problem. Another problem was Boo-Boo, the cat. The biggest problem was Mrs. Porter, the next door neighbour. Anyone else who sits for Andrew and Karen should know about Boo-Boo and Mrs. Porter ahead of time.

Not even the childless neighbours are safe!

By their third meeting, the BSC have learned a lot and become more professional about their little business. Whoever answers the phone now has a little script that includes the question, "Do you have any pets?" (I like characters with learning curves.)

Yet the best thing about this book is the theme that baby-sitting can bring out the best in young girls. Yes, they can learn to extend themselves for others and get to develop a good work ethic . . . but Kristy finds herself with a little more than the usual "skills and work experience" when she has to sit for the children of her mother's new boyfriend, whom she has loathed for the first 80% of the book. After her great idea, she gets to have a great character arc.

Image Source: a) BSC #1 Kristy's Great Idea, b) Kristy's Great Idea: A Graphic Novel by Reina Telgemeier



mrsdarwin said...

Oh man -- I read these things like candy in sixth grade, because that's what the girls were passing around in study hall and at lunch. They were pretty much fluff, and yet I still remember the plots of several even now, twenty (twenty!) years later.

Enbrethiliel said...


"Candy" is right, but they don't publish candy like this anymore! ;)

My first BSC was #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . and Dawn, which I liked a lot, but I don't have it any longer. =(

I found BSC#2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls in the same pre-loved bookstore, and if it lives up to the first book, I might review it next.

So, Mrs. Darwin, who was your favourite baby-sitter? =)

Jennifer said...

For some reason, I never read this books. I loved Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables. I feel like the only person who hasn't read them...

Jennifer @ Mrs.Q: Book Addict

Enbrethiliel said...


Hi, Jennifer! =) Thanks for your comment.

One series I've never read is Animorphs . . . though that will be rectified soon, since I managed to find a copy of the first book in the series. (It must have been my lucky week for browsing!)

Brooke Reviews said...

Awe, I love that you reviewed this book. I found it through CymLowell's blog! I loved these books as a kid :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for visiting, Brooke, and for leaving a comment! I prefer reviewing old books to new releases, as unfortunate an affinity that may be for someone who thinks she might want to break into book blogging.

Dana said...

I absolutely loved these books growing up - my collection took up several bookshelves! Glad you enjoyed it!

Enbrethiliel said...


Hi, Dana! It looks as if I'll be starting my BSC collection much later in life than other BSC fans, but I'm not complaining. ;) Thanks for leaving a comment.

Bunnita said...

Oh I like your review. I stalled a bit with mine. I really need to get to it. There's alot of books to get through

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks! =D I'm also stalled a bit with my BSC reading. I started #9 a few weeks ago, but didn't get much further than halfway. Good luck to both of us! =)