- Age Range: 9 and up
- Series: Baby-Sitters Club (Book 1)
- Paperback: 153 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (August 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590339508
- ISBN-13: 978-0590339506
- Package Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 461 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kristy's Great Idea, No. 1 (Baby-Sitters Club) Paperback – August, 1986
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6 Seventh-grader Kristy Thomas organizes her friends into a baby-sitters club. In the course of the operation of the club, Kristy comes to terms with her mother's engagement, Stacey confides to her new friends that she has diabetes, Claudia learns to tolerate and even appreciate her gifted older sister, and Mary Anne makes some compromises with her over-protective father. All of the elements of concern to pre-teen girls (wearing the ``in'' clothes, keeping friendships stable, coping with family stresses, and trying to grow up) are here, tied to the almost universal experience of baby-sitting. Characters are not drawn with great depth, but the action is on target. A pleasant offering that will find a ready audience. Candy Colborn, Cottonwood Creek Elementary School, Englewood, Colo.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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There are a lot of graphic novels that I do not care for, because of the illustrations. This novel was illustrated by the same woman who illustrated "Smile." The pictures and text are very clear.
Some people are complaining the story lines are not appropriate for younger elementary. I think when these were published they were aimed at Middle School aged kids- since the kids in the books are all in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. I remember reading the original ones as a 9 year old, and it was my first introduction to a lot of new concepts, like divorce, deafness, and diabetes- but to be fair, these are all things I hear my elementary students at school talk to their friends about. Ann Martin has always been really good about writing about tough themes for kids in a way that makes them non-threatening.
I would really recommend this novel to any girl who struggles with reading, or any girl who finds reading boring. It is a series, with #2 already published, and #3 and #4 on the way. If your girl happens to like the graphic novels, you can always try the original, non-illustrated series as well. if you have a girl that REALLY is getting into graphic novels, we also liked the Phoebe and the Unicorn series as well.
As a little girl, I absolutely loved The Baby-sitters Club series and would save up every penny I could to purchase the newest one. Of course, Kristy’s Great Idea came out when I was only a year old, so I can’t claim to have been a fan from the very beginning. But considering I read my first BSC book at the age of five or six, I definitely feel a kinship to the book and its characters.
Kristy’s Great Idea is where it all begins. Kristy Thomas has entered into seventh grade with her childhood friends, Mary Anne Spier and Claudia Kishi. Despite having a rocky summer vacation, the friends are trying desperately to keep their friendship from drifting away. This isn’t exactly easy as it is becoming clear Claudia is growing up, thus leaving Kristy and Mary Anne to feel as if they are being left behind.
Nonetheless, in a spark of genius, Kristy comes up with an idea of forming a club/business that will help parents with easily locating a babysitter with only one phone call. As Kristy brings the idea to her friends’ attention, Claudia suggests inviting a new girl, Stacey McGill to join them and in no time, The Baby-sitters Club is up and running. The girls experience some memorable, yet stressful experiences as they embark on their first babysitting gigs. But nothing, not dogs, crazy kids or a spooky witch next door can keep these girls down.
Each girl in the club is different from the other.
Kristy Thomas: Living with her single mother and three brothers, Kristy is the tomboy in the club. She’s athletic, impulsive and bossy. She has yet to gain an interest in trivial things like boys and dating. As the creator of The Baby-sitters Club, she’s nominated President and with that title comes the responsibility of hosting the meetings three times a week. In this book, she struggles with overcoming her dislike for her mother’s new boyfriend, Watson. After years without a man in the house, Kristy even goes as far to avoid meeting Watson’s children until an emergency leaves him in desperate need for a sitter and only Kristy being available to help.
Claudia Kishi: Claudia is an exotic beauty with a great passion for art, clothing and boys. Her discovery of boys has caused some distance between her and her best friends, Mary Anne and Kristy in the summer prior to Kristy’s Big Idea. But with the creation of The Baby-sitters Club, she has found it to be helpful in keeping their friendship strong, while still having enough room to add in new girl, Stacey. Though Claudia is extremely creative, she lacks any enthusiasm when it comes to school. Especially since she’s lived in the shadow of her genius sister, Janine. As Vice-President of the club, Claudia’s room serves as home base for the club’s meetings and she’s always willing to provide plenty of snacks.
Mary Anne Spier: Mary Anne Spier is shy, quiet and childlike. Some of which comes from her overprotective father, who tries too hard to protect his daughter. Despite their differences, she is Kristy’s best friend and at times a good voice of reason. She still dresses like a little girl and with her strict father always looking over her shoulder, she finds it hard to see a time in the future where that may change. As Secretary for the club, she’s responsible for maintaining the club’s schedule. Though she’s quiet and demure, she’s fiercely protective of her friends and is probably the most loyal of them all.
Stacey McGill: A New Yorker, born and raised, Stacey is still adjusting to small town life when she’s invited to join The Baby-Sitters Club. She’s sophisticated, fashionable and just as boy crazy as Claudia, making her the perfect choice for a new best friend. Due to her diabetes, she’s extremely cautious with what she eats and has to spend a lot of time worrying about her health. She’s naturally good with numbers and this helps her to be the perfect candidate for the club’s Treasurer.
Say what you will about the writing. It’s meant for young girls, not a grown adult and the writing reflects Martin’s intended audience. The pace can be a little slow at times and clearly being in the mind of a twelve year old is not always the best experience. Nonetheless rereading this book brought back so many memories. For one, I am still young enough to remember The Baby-sitters Club television series from the 90’s and Kristy’s Great Idea was one of those episodes. As I was reading the book, I can still envision the original actresses who portrayed Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey. While I enjoyed rereading this book, I wish I could recapture the enthusiasm and joy I had experienced as a child. Perhaps, it’s just proof that as I have aged, so has my literary tastes.
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I'm not a big one
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