Summary: Members of the Baby-sitters Club travel on a cruise ship to the Bahamas and to Disney World. -- Scholastic
I couldn't help by share in Booking Daughter's excitement when My Friend Amy announced Babysitters Club Week. Not only did Booking Daughter want to participate by writing a review, but she also wanted me to read and review one of the books. As much as it kills me to say this, I have never read a Babysitters Club book because I was too old for them when they first came out.
Ever since Amy came up with the idea for Babysitters Club Week, Booking Daughter and I have been rooting around all of the used bookstores trying to collect them -- it's our new hobby! I think we've managed to snag around 40 books the past few weeks. I told Booking Daughter that she could pick any one of the books for me to read; and she selected one of her favorites -- THE BABYSITTERS CLUB SUPER SPECIAL: BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD! by Ann M. Martin. She just knew I'd love it!
I was teasing her that the Super Special is a lot thicker than the other Babysitter Club books. Evidently the traditional Babysitters Club books were mainly about one of the girls. The Super Specials are longer because they are written in alternating chapters in multiple characters' voices. When I first started this book, I kept thinking that I probably should have started with a "normal" book because I just couldn't keep the characters straight. There are five girls in the club, their parents and siblings, the kids they babysit (one family has eight kids); and it was very confusing for me. After reading about 50 pages, I decided to ask Booking Daughter for a little clarification. Needless to say, Booking Daughter thought it was hilarious that I was having problems with the names; and she even offered to write down all of the names and relationships for me. I didn't think she was so funny, but I did go back and start the book over once I had the characters and their names down pat.
I doubt that I'm going to read many more Babysitter Club books -- much to Booking Daughter's dismay; but I have to say that I did enjoy BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD! And, I can totally see why young girls just adore these books. In BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD!, the characters all take a cruise to the Bahamas and then visit Disney World. Since we just got back from our family vacation at Disney World, I appreciated the scenes where the characters were visiting Epcot and Magic Kingdom (keep in mind that the books are so old that there wasn't Disney Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.) I loved reading about the classic rides like Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain; and I couldn't believe how much Epcot has changed. I think Booking Daughter picked the perfect Babysitters Club book for me to read because I did get to "meet" all of the characters; and she knows how much I love anything Disney-related!
I think one of the biggest draws to these books are the characters themselves. Since there are five girls in the club, most girls will find at least one that they can relate to. (I personally liked Dawn the best.) I enjoyed that the girls and their actions seemed realistic; and I even liked that the girls had issues that they had to work out -- like disagreeing with each other. As a mom, I am thrilled that my daughter wants to read all of The Babysitter Club books because I don't have to worry about anything inappropriate happening in the stories. She loves the stories and she can even learn some valuable lessons through the characters' actions.
I also really appreciated how the author handled the whole boy thing. These girls are pre-teen and early teenagers, so it's natural that boys are on their mind a lot! There were certainly crushes and secret admirers in this story (and even a kiss), but everything was so sweet and innocent -- exactly how it should be in a middle-grade book.
I am definitely glad that I read BABYSITTERS ON BOARD! and I definitely recommend these books for young girls. Thanks to Amy for hosting Babysitters Club Week!