Martin, Ann M. (1986). The Baby Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea the Classic Edition. New York: Scholastic.
Young Adult Pre-90’s Book.
I remember this book from my childhood. I believe I read them then, but I could not really recall the storyline. I had some at home, so I decided to read it. It was an easy, fun read. While reading the book, I learned about the “Baby sitter’s club” members who are Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey. These four best friends are in the business of babysitting. This teaches them responsibility, team work, money management, and how to deal with real life situations. Kristy is the “President” or leader of the Baby Sitter’s Club and runs a tight ship. She founded the baby sitting buisness and her friends are the co-founders of the Baby Sitter’s Club. Claudia is the Vice President and is a Japanese-American who loves to paint and is constantly comparing herself to her genius sister, Janine. Mary Anne is the Secretary of the Baby Sitter’s Club who wants to be who she wants to be, yet her dad shelters her like a baby since her mother passed away when she was young. The Baby Sitter’s Club teaches several morals to children such as being different is a good thing, your thoughts matter, you are important, people make mistakes, and much more. These are valid thoughts and thoughts middle schoolers need to here.
This book is great in several ways. First, multi-culturally it teaches about people from different cultures since Claudia is a Japanese-American. Martin touches on Claudia’s Japanese roots throughout the book. It also displays the importance of sticking together through the friends. They have to lean on one another through difficult times of baby sitting and in life. The book also touches on responsibility. These girls are only in 7th grade, so about 13-14 years old, in the first book. They have to become responsible for the children they babysit.
I connected with this book because I remember it from my childhood. It was like “the” book to read. I also connected with it because it reminded me of my friends from middle school and high school. We were super close like they were, and just their real life connections allowed me to connect with the characters in the book. The issues they faced, the struggles they went through, and the joy they created together is something I think every teenage girl can relate to.
The issues in the book are issues that most people deal with. The non-traditional family is addressed in this book. Kristy’s mother is dating a new guy, Watson Brewer, who Kristy is leery of. She is this way because her father walked out on them leaving her mother to raise four children on her own. She doesn’t want her or her family to be hurt again. This is something a lot of teenagers go through especially in the world we live in today. Single parent families are very common. Another issue is the girls realize how much they really got into when starting the baby sitter’s club. Since they already made the commitment, they cannot turn back now. This is an issue the girls resolve during the book.
The setting, plot, theme, style, and point of view are all perfect for the message of the story. The lesson of how people are all unique, be true to yourself, and take responsibility for your actions is great for this age group to learn. The setting of this book takes place in their hometown of Stoneybrook. The point of view is from Kristy, the President of the club. Each book has a different point of view based on the character the book is focusing on.
This book could be integrated into a math lesson. When teaching how to save money, you could read this book. This book also describes life lessons and morals, students can learn some basics of starting their own business, how to work as a team, etc.
I chose to use this as an integration of a math lesson.
Students will understand how to save money, learn money management, and how to be responsible.
- Have you ever started a “club?”
- Have you ever wanted to start a club? If so, what kind of club?
- What encounters have you experienced where you had to do something, but didn’t want to?
- Have you ever jumped into something but realized it was too much to handle?
- What does responsible mean?
- How can you show responsibility?
- Have you ever tried to save money for something you really wanted?
- What are some ways you could earn money?