Best Babysitters Ever

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. This is a fun, updated take on the Baby-Sitter Club series by Ann M. Martin. Middle school tween readers will definitely be able to relate to idea of trying to make money by babysitting. This is the age when kids want to have their own money and there aren’t that many other money-making opportunities for younger kids.
In this book, Malia, Bree, and Dot have been best friends for years. Now that these thirteen-year-olds are in seventh grade, they’re desperate to make money so they can throw the most awesome birthday party ever. Malia finds an old, battered copy of Kristy’s Great Idea (Baby-Sitters Club #1) by Ann M. Martin and the three girls believe they stumbled across the best idea ever. But starting their own business is more difficult than they ever imagined when they have to overcome obstacles like difficult-to-manage children, unscrupulous competitors who steal their ideas and their business, and the day-to-day social drama of middle school.
This book has lots of fun updates so that today’s kids can relate to it. But there also are some funny lines to make older readers like me a bit nostalgic for the good old days. The voices of the adolescent girls ring true as they deal with their own friendship drama, family issues, and popular culture. I could see this being a pretty popular book for kids in grades five and up. By the way, good news for fans of The Baby-Sitter Club – Netflix has just announced they are creating a ten-episode series!
Was this review helpful?
This is a great book about friendship.

Malia gets the idea to create a babysitting club after reading Kristy’s Great Idea, which is the first book in the Baby-Sitters Club series. I loved that series when I was growing up! This is a great way to update the story for today’s young readers. Even though there are new graphic novel versions of the Baby-Sitters Club books, some of the things in the books are still dated. This story had modern characters, complete with cell phones!

The story was fast paced. There were a lot of similarities between the characters in this book and the ones from the Babysitters club. For instance, Bree has a large blended family, just like Kristy in the Babysitters club. Malia has an annoying older sister just like Claudia. However, some of the characters were kind of extreme and annoying. Bree was emotional and cried a lot. She was also obsessed with glitter and Taylor Swift. She seemed very over the top most of the time.

I’m curious to see what happens next in this series, and to see how much it will be like the Baby-Sitters Club.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a cute, girly middle grade book about 3 friends, Malia, Dot, and Bree who start a babysitting business to save money for a party they are planning. The business doesn’t exactly go the way they envisioned it. The story wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but it was still entertaining and I think younger middle grade readers would enjoy it as well. 
Thank you to HMH Books for young readers and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Rounded up from 3.5 stars. This middle grade novel features three twelve-year-olds who want to throw a big bash when they turn thirteen. The challenge is paying for it. Malia finds an old book from the first Babysitter's Club series and a light bulb comes on. She convinces her friends Bree and Dot to join her in forming a new babysitter's club. Along the way there are many ups and downs which makes for an entertaining book. One favorite moment is when Bree makes a poster highlighting their first names with huge glittered letters spelling out B for Bree, A for Alia(Malia is campaigning for a new version of her name) and D for Dot. Yes, it spells B-A-D. Girls in 5th grade and up will empathize with the trio and find some common ground. A fun read.

A big thanks to Houghton Mifflin and NetGalley for an ARC of this new middle grade novel in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to review this book because I was obsessed with the Baby-Sitters Club growing up and wanted to join in  the nostalgia. I was disappointed on all fronts. This book makes a few passing references to the Baby-Sitters Club books and of course mirrors them in that the protagonists create their own babysitting club, but this book lacks all of its parent series's charm. The three main characters, Malia, Dot, and Bree, are one-dimensional and unlikeable, all obsessed with celebrities, fashion, and crushes. None of them actually likes children, and they form their club as a way to earn money for their "not mitzvah" thirteenth birthday celebration to outshine their apparently obscenely wealthy classmates, one of whom had Kanye West attend her birthday party. The girls are also terrible babysitters and manipulate their position, serving as terrible role models for readers. The dialogue is stiff and painful and the narrative is littered with pop culture references and brand names that will date the book within the next couple of years. While this sarcastic, "chick lit" type of story is popular among tween girls, this book lacks the character redemption arcs and acceptable writing standards of "Dork Diaries," Sarah Mlynowski, or similar titles.
Was this review helpful?
What a precious and fun update to a beloved story line. With diverse characters this updates the Baby-Sitters Club idea to a new group of girls. Girls who are not doing it for the kids, but for the paycheck! A fun and cute read that is added to my classroom library.
Was this review helpful?
The characters in this book have the idea to start a babysitting service a la the Babysitter's Club so they can raise money for a big party they want to throw. They don't care about the job at all, as long as they get paid. Unfortunately, some of the older girls find out their idea and steal it with a miraculously created professional website. Later, the girls find that the older babysitters are doing a horrible job, making kids work, yelling, and having their boyfriends over. They reveal this secret and steal a huge babysitting job which is far beyond their capabilities. It goes disastrously wrong and they opt for a more modest party instead.

This book was frustrating. Much like the girls in the story, it obviously drew inspiration from Babysitter's Club and missed the intent. There are few, if any, likable characters in the book, the older girls are almost cartoonishly evil, and the parents are incompetent or invisible. One set of parents blatantly favor their older daughter, another seem to forget their daughter even exists most of the time, neither of these are resolved in any way. 

The whole story has the same frenetic energy of a Disney channel show produced within the last five years. Just go back and read the classic Babysitter's Club books instead.
Was this review helpful?
Malia finds a battered copy of a Baby-Sitters Club book in a giveaway pile, and decides to put the idea into action with her best friends Bree and Dot because "seventh grade was turning out to be all kinds of meh" (from E ARC). She and her friends don't have money to buy anything at the mall, and her long time crush still doesn't know she exists. Some of the people who go to her school are mind-bogglingly rich, and throw epic birthday parties, and she's hoping that if she can put together such a party, her life will improve. Malia has two supportive parents, but her older sister is much more successful than Malia feels she is. Bree has a complicated step-family, and often feels lost in the shuffle. Dot has a hippie-dippie mother who doesn't let her wear deodorant and has a cupboard full of "hemp flakes (scary), cashew spirulina algae balls (so scary),[and] sugar-free, vegan peanut butter cookies", and is counting the days until she can move to New York and live her own entrepreneurial life while wearing all black. They think Malia's idea has some merit, so set up their company, put something on the PTA list-serv, and sit back to wait for the calls to come in. They get one job that pays quite a bit, but they blow all of their money at the mall. They have another job lined up, though, so look forward to saving for their party. When they show up, however, they are met at the door by Malia's sister Chelsea and the bad news that she has set up a rival company, Seaside Sitters, and has stolen their jobs! It doesn't help that the website Bree has set up is poorly done, but the girls regroup and take any job they can get, from watering plants to feeding cats. Eventually, Chelsea becomes evil enough that the girls feel they need to retaliate, and put together footage of the Seaside Sitters being less than exemplary caretakers. Even though they've missed the chance for an epic pizza party, they still manage to have a birthday party, and their 7th grade year starts to look up. 

Strengths: Like Mancusi's Princesses, Inc., this is the sort of light, amusing book I would have adored (and purchased for myself in paperback) when I was in middle school. I love that the starting place is the Baby-Sitters Club, which readers at my school know about because of the Raina Telgemeier graphic novel. The characters are all interestingly flawed but well-meaning, and encompass so many of the characteristics of tween girls. It's also great that the parents are present and supportive, with the exception of Dot's dad, who is realistically not in the picture. This just made my day and restored my faith in middle grade literature!
Weaknesses: While the reason for some of the girls to be very wealthy and others to be on the struggling side makes sense, I still had trouble believing that anyone would pay "stacks of twenties" for tween babysitters. Or hire three of them to watch over thirty children at a wedding. And do tweens still go to the mall? I thought the problem was that NO ONE went to the mall, which is why they are all closing down. I enjoyed the retro feel, but worry that this might not resonate with my students. 
What I really think: Definitely purchasing and using to wean readers off of Babymouse and Dork Diaries.
Was this review helpful?
What would you do if you found an old book called The Babysitters Club? Read it? Sure! Create your own Babysitters Club? Why not? That is exactly what twelve-year-olds Malia, Dot, and Bree do. Babysitting is easy-peasy, right? They soon learn that taking care of little ones is not quite all its cracked up to be. Despite the challenges, they are determined to make money so that they can throw the epic birthday bash. But how will they make money when Malia's older sister steals her idea and their customers? The girls have to come up with a way to find new customers and/or find a way to sabotage her sister's new babysitting service. Will the girls rebound from their failed business? Will their friendship make it through these troubled times? Will they to throw the birthday party of the year or will they even be speaking to each other in time for the party? Read this fun story of family and friendship to find out what happens!

I loved this story because it shows how three completely different personalities can be best friends and work together through tough times. It shows how friends and families can go through ups and downs and still be there for each other - no matter what. My favorite character in the whole book is Aloysius! You have to read this amazing book just to get to know him! Don't miss it!
Was this review helpful?
Bad Babysitters was a lot of fun to read. As an avid Babysitter's Club fanatic growing up, I loved to see a new middle grade book pay homage to the series. The characters were really well developed and the author made it you feel like you have been reading about their friendship for years, when in reality you were only on the first chapter. The one thing that I actually hated about the Babysitter's Club was how much time it spend every book introducing all of the characters. It basically took up a whole chapter in every book. I liked the fact that Bad Babysitters did not spend that much time on the introductions. It left more time for the story. It was a quick but very enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
This book could not decide what it wanted to be: a parody of the Babysitter's Club? A slapstick comedy? Realistic fiction? A farce? A friendship message? Maybe the problem for me was that it was trying to do too many things at once. For instance, I felt like it was aimed at upper elementary girls, but then why did it use vocabulary like "kickass" and "boobs?"
At times it felt like it was trying to tell a real story, but then there were plot points that were highly exaggerated. Some of the characters were caricatures while the book was trying to make serious points. At times the girls were portrayed as being empowered; the next minute they were doofuses. Would parents really pay babysitters with "stacks of twenties" and trust three 7th grade girls with 33 children? A small town would have enough geniuses for kindergarten Mensa?
Perhaps later books will be more focused.
Was this review helpful?
A great middle grade read and a lovely nostalgic nod to the original babysitters club books.
I'd say it's aimed more towards the younger MG range; those starting out with Cathy Cassidy or Dork Diaries etc.

There were so many laugh out loud moments!
Was this review helpful?
I've heard many wonderful reviews from patrons and colleagues especially from fans of the babysitters club so being a,fan myself, I had to read this book.

This book focuses on Bree Malia (Alia) and Dot having their own great idea just like Kristy Thomas in Babysitters Club but they are twelve years old and looking for a quote on quote "easy" way to make some money. Little did they know babysitting is not what they expected and they find themselves in quite the jam and in an adventure theyll never forget.

This book while I was reading it made me feel like I was a twelve year old reading the Babysitters Club for the first time remembering all the life lessons on babysitting that Ann M Martin's classic series has prepared me for. This book was a modern take on that and I found it very clever the BAD are the letters of the girl's first names and a metaphor of all the trouble they get themselves into.

This will do great on our JFiction section and that is why we give it 5 stars
Was this review helpful?
Best Babysitters Ever
by Caroline Cala
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group
HMH Books for Young Readers
Children's Fiction
Pub Date 05 Feb 2019
I am reviewing Bad Babysitters: Best Babysitters ever through HMH Books for Young Readers and Netgalley:
Three twelve year led best friends decide it is time to start a babysitting club in the small California town where they live. The idea comes from Kristy Thomas (from the Original Babysitters Club)
Malia Twiggs thought little kids were gross but a paycheck is a paycheck and after a little convincing they start the babysitting club in order to have the funds for an amazing birthday bash.
I give Best Babysitters Over five out of five stars!
Happy Reading!
Was this review helpful?
The title of this book was nostalgic and remember the Babysitters Club so I thought I would give it a try. I think that many middle schoolers will enjoy and be able to relate to the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I will definitely add this one to the recommended for upper grades list in my library.   Bree, Dot, and Malia exemplify the true meaning of friendship and carries an important message to be brave and follow your dreams.  The characters are diverse and readers will find a connection with each.
Was this review helpful?
My Girls loved this story and plan to have a review added Further out. Close to the release date.
https://bookhimdanno.blogspot.com/

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the Advance Copy for my honest opinion
Was this review helpful?
While I can see this book having a broad appeal for the middle-grade readers due to its cover and the way it can piggyback off of the Babysitters Club craze, I wasn't a fan and I don't know that the children reading it will enjoy it, either. Its characters are rather bratty and catty, and I'm not sure that they're sympathetic enough to keep readers' attention.
Was this review helpful?
Malia, Bree, and Dot have always had a joint birthday party, but this year they’re thinking big! Their other classmates have parties with exotic animals and famous singers. They want something just as memorable. So when Malia finds an old copy of Ann Martin’s The Babysitters’ Club, she establishes her own babysitting club. It doesn’t matter if she and her friends don’t really like little kids, right?

I enjoyed this book, which is a cute homage to the series that was my first bookish fandom (I even wrote a fan letter to Ann M. Martin- my first and only fan letter). All three girls were quirky individuals, and glitter and cat obsessed Bree reminded me of myself at that age. The sabotage by Malia’s older sister did seem a little over the top, but it wasn’t out of place here. It also reminded me of a plot from one of the original Babysitters’ Club books. 

Best of all, the girls learn an important lesson about friendship, and their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.
Was this review helpful?
I have been having my children summer read these books! So far they have loved everyone one of them. I t is nice to see them read outside their usual comfort zone!
Was this review helpful?