More Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with this young adult series. I very much enjoyed the first book, and now the third’s already been out for two months and I haven’t talked about it.

The Truth About Stacey cover
The Baby-Sitters Club
The Truth About Stacey
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The first volume featured the founder of the club, Kristy, and each subsequent book focuses on another of the girls, which is a nice way to get to know the characters in more depth. (Especially for those of us who never read the books this series is based on.)

The true appeal for me is, as always, Raina Telgemeier’s skilled and talented art. Her cartoony exaggeration brings home the emotion needed, no matter the tenor of the scene, and her characters are people I want to know better.

Book two is, as the subtitle suggests, Stacey’s story. She’s newer in town than the others, having moved to the suburbs from New York City. More importantly, she’s been diagnosed with diabetes, which requires lifestyle changes from her, her friends, and her parents.

There’s also an external conflict for more plot twists: a competing baby-sitting company has opened up with older girls allowed to stay up later. That particular element surprised me, since it’s been a long time since curfew’s been a problem, but it’s a reasonable complication that the book’s audience can relate to.

And that’s another big factor I like about this series: the problems are distinctive, plausible, and creatively solved. There are lots of books about teens out there where the conflict is “how do I get him to notice me?” In this one, it’s “how do you keep a business going in the face of increased competition?” Sure, it’s not presented that bluntly, but that’s what it is. And I like it! It treats girls as people with a wide range of skills and interests beyond the romantic.

And in amongst the big picture, there are individual problems whose resolutions provide satisfying chapters, as when the girls create a unique feature to attract kids to their babysitting service, or deal with whether to expand their staff and how to market themselves. Readers will learn creative tips for dealing with younger kids, too.

Mary Anne Saves the Day cover
The Baby-Sitters Club
Mary Anne Saves the Day
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The girls learn to stand up for themselves in responsible ways (a good quality in a teen taking care of younger children), including Stacey taking responsibility for her body and her health in the face of her parents’ overwhelming concern. That’s a terrific message for young women, even though the book is a lot more entertaining than many message-based tracts.

Enjoyable as that one was, I liked the third book even better. I didn’t expect to at first because its main character, Mary Anne, is something of your classic drip. Dad’s over-protective and strict (but loving), so she dresses very conservatively and has the earliest bedtime and so on.

As the book opens, the club’s breaking up, with the girls fighting over desirable jobs. Mary Anne, forced away from her only friends, who are giving her the silent treatment, finds herself thrown together with a new girl in school. This book’s a lovely portrait of how friendship develops. It’s the details that make it a solid read, like an apology letter taking several drafts with different tones, instead of being right the first time through.

It’s still rare to see women in comics who have relationships with each other that don’t revolve around the men in the lives. I loved this story for reminding me of how many more options there are, good and bad. And much of what happens, especially when babysitting, is an argument for how much of a virtue patience is, another good reminder.

Previews are available at the publisher’s website.

Similar Posts: *The Baby-Sitters Club — Recommended § An Excellent Explanation of Sailor Moon § Deadly Little Sins § SF Fandom Is Aging Out; Will the Same Thing Happen to Traditional Comic Cons? § Power Lunch: Seconds


18 Responses to “More Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey, Mary Anne Saves the Day”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Nov. 28, 2007: Watashi wa Kira desu Says:

    [...] on three graphic novels for teenage girls: the second and third books in Raina Telgemeier’s Baby-Sitters Club series, and Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm’s Good as Lily. (Above: Sequence from the Good as Lily, [...]

  2. Val Says:

    These graphic novels by Raina are among my favorites, across the board. I heartily recommend them. And this is from a woman who as a child absolutely shunned Babysitter Club books.

  3. SPLAT! Symposium » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] conference will feature Jim Killen, Barnes and Noble; David Saylor, Scholastic; Raina Telgemeier, The Baby-Sitters Club; Ted Rall, Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists; CB Cebulski, Marvel Comics; Bob [...]

  4. sadaf Says:

    i LOVE Ann M. Martin’s books and comic books!!! I just can’t stop reading! SO CATCHING!

  5. ARIEANAH Says:

    I LOVE THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB GRAPHICS IT’S SO DOP[THE BOOM]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. ARIEANAH Says:

    CLAUDIA IN THE GRAPHICS IS THE BOOM,WIT HER LIL PINK HAIR IN THE FRONT

  7. SPX 2008 Graphic Novels: Slowpoke, Baby-Sitters Club 4, Soddyssey, Emiko Superstar, more » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] sorry to hear that this will be the last in the series for a while after enjoying the previous volumes by Raina [...]

  8. jadyn Says:

    i JUST LOVE your books!!!!!
    and at night when i can’t watch T.V. I read YOUR COMIC BOOKS, the baby sitters club,
    i just LOVE them and they make me calm down so i can go to sleep, i go to sleep because i read to much, and i own the 4th book, and that’s the one i read, number 4, but i don’t have number 1, 2, or 3….. sad….. but it scared me the first time i raed it, because i didn’t think MIMI was going to make it, BUT SHE DID!!! :) love your books. -Jadyn

  9. Ama Says:

    OMG! I want these books to go on forever and ever the author should brainstorm new ideas for the Babysitters graphic novel

  10. X-Men: Misfits » Manga Worth Reading Says:

    [...] that’s due to the writers. I’ve long appreciated the work of couple Raina Telgemeier (The Baby-Sitters Club, Smile) and Dave Roman (Astronaut Elementary, Teen Boat, Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden). They [...]

  11. Riya Says:

    I love to read BSC soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much that I am trying to find about more parts of it. i only have its 1,2 and 3 volumes of it

  12. Nothing! Says:

    Did you know that there is a 4th?

  13. Hi Says:

    You should put in the 4th and 1st!

  14. Antonio Says:

    This i like the other book but this one is a comic

  15. paish Says:

    HOW OLD ARE YOU ALL? The Baby-sitter’s club is a series that was written in the 1980′s and is simply being re-released. You all had me laughing because you are like “Did you know that there is a 4th?” When in reality there are TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN B.S.C. books.

  16. Johanna Says:

    We’re talking here about the graphic novel adaptations, of which there are only four, although I’d read more of them if they made more.

  17. tajah Says:

    omg both of theses storyies are great for a 11 year old like me im done with both of them in just 1 1/2 days and the first one the baby-sitters club krist`s big idea thats when everything started with the baby sitters club in the trith about stacey story she has changes with her diabetes and the last one mary ann saves the day at the end they get a new member of the baby sitters club and they got into aguge fight at the birthday party and everything kids read theses bokk AWSOME BABY-SITTERS CLUB

  18. lillian Says:

    MAKE SOME MORE i like reading them

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