________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 16 . . . . April 13, 2001

cover Graduation Day. (Baby-Sitters Club).

Ann M. Martin.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2000.
182 pp., pbk., $5.50.
ISBN 0-439-21918-3.

Subject Headings:
Friendship-Juvenile fiction.
Children's stories.

Grades 4 - 9 / Ages 9 - 14.

Review By Deborah Mervold.

** /4


"And there's the Baby-sitters Club, or BSC. The BSC is really a business [a baby-sitting business, as if you couldn't guess] started by yours truly almost two years ago, at the beginning of seventh grade. All my closest friends belong to it. At one time it was a really big deal. Seven of us belonged as full-fledged members, with various honorary and associate members.

Now the club has scaled back to the original four members [Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey and me], but it's still important to us. We meet several times a week to assign sitting jobs, to discuss our clients and the jobs we've been on, and also just to talk, to catch up, to be together. Are we really going to be able to continue this once we start high school? We're going to be so much busier. For one thing, we'll be in school until later in the afternoon. Then there will be all the extra work and so many after-school clubs, teams, and activities. I have a funny feeling the four of us may not wind up meeting so often."

The original four members of the Babysitters Club, Kristy, Stacey, Mary Anne and Claudia, are about to graduate from Grade 8 and move on to high school. They are worried about passing classes, boyfriends, parents, divorce and other issues of concern for girls of this age. Past members have returned, and new younger members have been added to tie everything together for this last book of the series. Each chapter is written by one of the original four and includes a letter or journal entry plus a commentary on what is happening. This technique allows the plot to move forward as well as to permit information to be given about the characters.

      The graduates have an optional assignment to write a letter to themselves, letters which will then be mailed to them by their principal when they complete high school. As they struggle with what to write, the babysitting business continues although on a smaller scale. The girls come up with the idea of a time capsule for all their clients. The capsule, which would give a picture of their neighborhood, would be buried and dug up in seven years.

      Although thin in plot and characterization, the book's content is suitable for the intended age. The author's inclusion of a detailed timeline of all the books in this series is a good addition for "Babysitter Club" fans. Information about the babysitters club, which is included in the index, would also be of interest to readers. The use of a variety of fonts plus handwritten entries adds touches of authenticity to the material.

      As an encouragement for reading, this book has value, and fans of the series will the conclusion wherein the characters think about the future and reflect on the past.


Deborah Mervold is a teacher librarian in a grade 5-12 school and grade 13 English teacher at Shellbrook Composite High School in Shellbrook, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364