This series was one of my absolute favorites when I was growing up. Now that I am thinking about it though, I think I read more of the Little Sister (Karen’s story) series than the actual babysitters but regardless, Ann M. Martin was a name I knew very well. While I was re-reading these stories, details from the originals came back to me instantaneously. Truthfully, I am really hoping that they continue to adapt the series into graphic novel form. It allows a whole new generation to enjoy these stories, much of which you could learn some valuable lessons from.
What I Liked
- Each book took the voice of a different character
- This allows you to get to know the characters as individuals. You saw a little more about each of their families, their personalities and feelings. This was a feature of the original series too. Though it was one series, going from book to book, you got a different general perspective. You still found out what happened to the other members and their clients, but got to focus just a tad bit more on each character as you went along. I liked that. It keeps the series feeling like new each time you read a different book.
- I adore the drawing style of Raina Telgemeier. I think that it is just the right amount of fun and colorful, while still being relateable to the characters. I like that the drawings didn’t seem too complex, yet held immense detail frame to frame. Gale Galligan did a really great job taking over where Raina left off. You honestly cannot tell (unless you are looking for differences) between the two drawing styles. This seamless transition makes it easier on fans of the series.
- The Characters
- I genuinely like all the characters, actually, except for one (you can see that below). I think they are all super sweet and lovable, INCLUDING the club’s family members and kids (and kid’s families) that they babysit. Everyone is well developed, especially for their age, and are pretty great examples for kids who might be the same age, reading this series. A number of different interests and personalities are represented too, which allows the series to have that “a little bit for everyone” mentality.
- Lack of Romantic Interest
- In the series, the girls start out at 12 years old. By the end of the last book (#5- Dawn and the Impossible Three), they are heading into 8th grade. There are a couple whispers of boys, especially for two of our club members, but that is all there is! I am glad they kept the books to their babysitting gigs and friendship (with some personal home problems thrown in). It was refreshing to read a book series aimed at young girls that was not centered around a love interest. Kids could use a good FRIEND story nowadays, and you find that really well represented in these books.
What I Disliked
- She was the worst character in the series, aside from the mother in book 5. She was often super selfish, and jealous, acting out when she didn’t get her way. I don’t remember her character as much from the original series (like I do Stacy) but there is usually at least one person I don’t like in a book, and she happens to be it. That isn’t to say her character is actually terrible! She acts within what I would imagine a 12 year old would do, especially in some of the circumstances she finds herself in. But that does not make her parts anymore enjoyable either.
And there you have it! If you liked this series as a kid, you absolutely MUST read these graphic novel adaptions. They really gave me some serious nostalgia, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. If you are a fan of Raina Telgemeier’s work, you should absolutely try these out. Though I really think that Victoria Jamieson’s books are better than Telgemeier’s, they have similar styles of illustration, so if you liked Roller Girl (or All’s Faire in Middle School) you should probably check these out too. And for those who are a little hesitant about diving into the graphic novel world. I assure you, these are a great way to “dip your toe in” if you catch my drift. They are light, and easy reads. They are sweet, with lovable characters and are real life-like, which makes jumping into a whole new medium of books much much simpler.
Let me know what you think! Did you read the Babysitter’s Club books when you were a kid? Who are your favorite characters?