Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in “The Baby-Sitters Club” series.
After Kristy Thomas’ mother has to make multiple phone calls to find an available baby-sitter for Kristy’s younger brother, Kristy decides to start a baby-sitters club. The club would meet at specific times each week so parents would be able to reach multiple sitters at one time and with one phone number. Kristy asks her good friends Mary Anne Spier and Claudia Kishi to join the group, along with a new girl in school, Stacey McGill. Kristy is thrilled by the club’s successful start, but she is not happy when she is the only sitter available to watch the children of her mother’s boyfriend, Watson. Although Kristy dislikes Watson simply because she feels he is trying to intrude on her family, she warms up to his kids and later to him after he and her mother become engaged.
Kristy is compelled to say what’s on her mind at all times, and she confronts Stacey at a club meeting about a lie Stacey’s mother told regarding Stacey’s whereabouts. Stacey shares how her parents have been keeping her recent diabetes diagnosis a secret to those outside the family. The girls resolve their issues with one another, and Kristy hopes that the baby-sitters club will stay together for a long time.
Watson’s 5-year-old daughter, Karen, believes their neighbor is a witch and that their cat is under the neighbor’s spell.
Kristy’s mother is firm yet loving with her children. She doesn’t tolerate Kristy’s rude behavior toward Watson; however, she understands that her divorce and possible remarriage are difficult for them. Kristy’s father has not had any contact with his children in over a year. Mary Anne’s father has set extensive rules for Mary Anne (such as what she can wear, how she can spend her baby-sitting money, etc.), and she is often frustrated because she is not allowed to do some of the things her friends can with their time and money. When Claudia’s parents discover she is performing poorly in school, they quickly establish a homework hour to help her better balance her time between schoolwork and her other interests. They also refuse to let her wear make-up to school.
Alcohol: Kristy’s mother and Watson consume alcohol with a meal.
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