We Are The Babysitters Club is a collection of essays and artwork dedicated to reflecting the impact of the Babysitters Club series. When I first heard that this book was being put together, I knew I had to read it. The BSC played such an important role in my childhood. I remember getting the first book from the Scholastic book fair and the rest was history. I delved each book and loved learning about each of the characters and the trouble they might get into.
We Are The Babysitters Club is split into five sections: Girl groups and friendship culture, personal style in the BSC, on seeing ourselves reflected (or not), entrepreneurship and the business of babysitting; and the world beyond Stonybrook. I really enjoyed this breakdown and the varying perceptions of the authors. Within these sections there are essays on race, sexuality, mental and physical health, social status, fashion, and family and friends dynamics, and that was just the beginning. Each essay caused me to reflect on the BSC series in different ways.
When I was younger, I have to admit that I was a little blind in terms of concerns regarding race. I grew up in a small town that was just about as diverse as Stonybrook. Flash forward to present day, I am more educated and aware of race and cultural issues and what was very pleased with what was being discussed in these essays. They were eye opening and have made me see this popular series in a different light.
As a person I always connected with Mary Anne the most as a character. Who did I want to be? Oh it was usually Claudia, Stacy, or Dawn. Claudia for her artistic ability and fashion; Stacy for her connection to NYC and her beautiful handwriting; and finally Dawn for her free spirit and connection to California. It was always fun to connect with these characters and imagine all the various babysitting jobs. The friendships were so strong in this series, it was always beautiful to see even when they disagreed on something. I think that is one of the things that kept me coming back time and time again.
We Are The Babysitters Club is an anthology that holds all the emotions. It is both a celebration but also healthy criticism of the series. It made me reflective of a series that I attributed to so much of my childhood. Yes, I became nostalgic but I also was able to realize how far I’ve come as an individual and what may be missing from the original series. The Netflix adaption does a wonderful job of staying true to the original feel of the BSC while also bringing an updated contextual vibe to it. I’ve lost track of the amount of tears that have occurred from both the changes and the nostalgia. It, like this anthology, brings me hope that the legacy of the BSC will live on for future generations.
Rating: 4 Stars