Friday, March 7, 2008


Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

AUTHOR: Ann M. Martin
ILLUSTRATOR: Raina Telgemeier
PUBLISHER: Graphix (an imprint of Scholastic)
GENRE: Realism, Traditional literature in graphic format

FORMAT: Trade paperback
VOLUME: 1-2-3
PAGES (1): 186
PAGES (2): 141
PAGES (3): 158
COLOR: Black and white
ISBN-10 (1): 0-439-73933-0
ISBN-10 (2): 0-439-73936-5
ISBN-10 (3): 0-439-88516-7

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey start their own club – a baby-sitting club. They work together to get clients and build their successful business, but like any club, they have their problems.

This graphic novel is all girl, as if you could not tell that by the cover, the title, and the source material. It is not a typical action-based comic repackaged with pink covers and female protagonists. THE BABY-SITTER’S CLUB is a thoughtful book written with girls in mind. The plot revolves around the club and interpersonal relationships between the girls and the outside world. Each of the four young ladies is developed in such a way so that just about any reader can identifying herself with at least one of the characters.

Life is not all sugar, spice and everything nice. The girls deal with typical problems: competition, divorce, disease, jealously, but most of all they deal with drama and plenty of it. The delicate interplay of youthful female relationships drives the story and the character development. If you want a story of girl-world, then this is it.

If the male reader gets nothing else from this book, he will certainly come away understanding that seemingly minor squabbles between friends are serious concerns for young girls – a good thing for the male teacher to know. For young ladies, this series is the how-to of growing up girl.

The art consists of straightforward line drawings with little shading or contrast. The girls make entries in the club diary, which are illustrated using different handwriting fonts for different girls. This was a nice technique and acted as a precursor to the upcoming chapter, helping students make predictions. Nice. The characters are distinctive, but the use of color would have greatly added to the story and the character development.

My Rating: All ages (best enjoyed starting with 10-year-olds)
Publisher’s Rating: Ages 8-12

These characters are in seventh grade, so I suspect that students starting in grade four would be most interested in this series, although I personally do not see anything objectionable or questionable for younger kids.

The comic adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s successful series gives the student another choice when it comes to reading. For those with disabilities, or those for whom reading a novel is a daunting task, the comic adaptation is a perfect precursor to traditional literature, although it stands on its own just as well.

I see an economics lesson here as well. These girls create a business, market it, and define the rules all by themselves then they manage the problems. This series could also be helpful when dealing with young girls and helping them navigate their relationships. I think THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB should be required reading for any teacher who deals with young girls.

This graphic adaptation was based on Ann M. Martin’s series of traditional novels by the same name.

It is wonderful to have a comic that is designed for girls. There has been an historical tendency for girls to be left out of the comic industry. That has changed and I am glad to see it. Go girl!

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