Katie Fitzgerald's Reviews > Best Babysitters Ever

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala
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it was ok
bookshelves: 2019, genre-realistic-fiction, level-middle-grade, source-edelweiss

I requested this ARC mostly because of my own feelings of nostalgia for the original Baby-sitters Club series, and it was fun to see the ways this story paralleled and parodied the stories I enjoyed from that series back in the 1990s. While I'm not sure I'm ready to call '90s literature "vintage," it was interesting to look at the books I grew up with through a more contemporary lens.

That said, I didn't particularly like any of the characters in this book. They all felt like caricatures of certain middle school stereotypes, and none of them were particularly sympathetic or interesting. I found Malia's insistence on being called Alia annoying, and the rivalry between her and her sister (and their parents' take on that relationship) completely implausible. It was also problematic (for me, as a Catholic mom, anyway) that the only morality in the book is from a "new age" point of view, delivered by Dot's mother. I also questioned whether the Baby-sitters Club re-releases are popular enough with 2019 middle grade audiences that they would really appreciate the references to the series, and I was surprised not to see Ann M. Martin given any recognition in the Acknowledgments. Surely she should have been given some thanks for inspiring this new tale.

For better or for worse, I do think the target audience will love all the drama and humor in this book, even if the writing is not of the highest literary quality. It wasn't a favorite for me, but if I worked in a library, I'd probably still order it.
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Reading Progress

August 14, 2018 – Shelved
August 14, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 18, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs-to-read
January 31, 2019 – Started Reading
January 31, 2019 –
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: genre-realistic-fiction
February 4, 2019 – Shelved as: level-middle-grade
February 4, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 5, 2019 – Shelved as: source-edelweiss

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