The Babysitters club is a book series from the late 80s-2000 about a group of girls who babysit. The books focus on the point of view of one of the girls per book. There are seven girls in the babysitters club. Kristy is the leader who is bossy and outgoing, Mary Anne is the shy quiet one, Claudia is the artist of the group, Stacey is sophisticated and fashionable, Dawn is the flower child, Jessi is the graceful one and Mallory is an aspiring writer. Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey and Dawn are thirteen years old while Jessi and Mallory are eleven. Maybe back in those days, it was fine to have kids babysit other kids. I imagine children their age would actually have their own babysitter nowadays.
I have loved this series since I was a little girl. I am trying to get the whole collection which will take me some time as there are 131 regular books as well as special editions and spinoffs. It’s easy to find babysitter books as many of them are in second hand shops. The books are all numbered but you can start from any book as the first chapter always explains the series. The book that I am reviewing is 73. Currently I have 32 regular books and 18 special edition ones. I haven’t even read all the ones in my collection either but I am working on it. There are new editions of this series but I like to get the old ones from when I was growing up.
In this book, Mary Anne is asked to babysit four year old Jenny Prezzioso on a regular basis. Jenny is a finicky child who is afraid of getting dirty. She alienates herself from other kids, after refusing to play with them in fear of staining her nice clothes. Mary Anne worries about Jenny but doesn’t want to pry into Jenny’s family life.
There is also a subplot involving Mallory who feels frustrated in having to babysit her siblings all the time. Her ten year old triplet brothers feel too old for a babysitter. They form a kickball team with the other kids in the neighbourhood. It doesn’t work out well for them but they are too proud to ask for help.
I thought this Babysitters book was alright. It isn’t one of my favourites from the series. I thought the issue with Jenny wasn’t really resolved, she just suddenly snapped out of it at the end. The reason for Jenny’s behaviour was to get attention from her parents. She tried to be the perfect child for them. Her behaviour is discussed by Mary Anne and Jenny’s parents but they say that are too busy to give the attention.
As for the subplot, I can sympathize with the triplets as they are only a year younger than Mallory. Reading about the kickball team reminded me of my own childhood. While I didn’t play kickball at home, I use to play cricket with the other kids in the neighborhood. I remember some of the arguments over getting out or fetching a ball which was featured in this book as well.
Have you read The Babysitters Club before? Who is your favourite babysitter?