The Babysitters Club: Dawn and the Impossible Three
In the 80s, Ann M. Martin's The Babysitter's club was a series of novels for younger girls revolving around a small group of girls who formed a gig-work style of business regarding babysitting. The series was a hit, running from 1986 to 2000, eventually publishing over 200 books in the core series. In the early 2000s, Raina Telgemeier adapted the first four books into graphic novel format, reintroducing the series to a new generation of readers. The latest books of the series is adapted by Gale Galligan, in her first major outing, and she tackles one of the more intense stories. Dawn Schafer is the newest member of the BSC, and she's not feeling like she really belongs. Kristy is being kind of mean and rude to her, while she's suffering some culture shock after moving to a small town from California. On top of all that, Dawn gets the Barrett kids as her first job. Now, the Barrett kids aren't really bad kids, they are a little wild. In addition, the Barrett's house is always a mess, and Mrs. Barrett never keeps a promise she's made to Dawn. Honestly, it's too much for any kid to handle, and when Mr. Barrett gets involved, forcing Dawn into the middle of the Barrett's divorce problems, Dawn is going to need the support of not only her family, but the BSC as well! Even though the Baby Sitters Club has long been marketed to a female audience, my eldest used to "borrow" my copies of Raina's books all the time, and every guy I've talked to about the BSC has enjoyed them. In this day and age, with the blurring of traditional gender roles, and the idea of gender delineation becoming passé, the BSC is a wonderful title for any reader. Galligan's artwork is reminiscent of Telgemeier's; it's comfortingly familiar to returning readers, but different enough to allow Galligan's unique voice to come through loud and clear. This is one of the heavier stories I've come across in the BSC universe, but it is handled with a grace and dignity that lets the reader understand the gravity of a situation, but also shows that a level head and cool thinking will allow kids to even teach adults a thing or two. Galligan has a second BSC book coming out later this year, so be on the lookout for that.