Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala is about three friends who decide to start a babysitting club, inspired by the very first Babysitter’s Club book. Twelve-year-old Malia convinces her friends Dot and Bree to start a babysitting club based on the book Kristy’s Great Idea By Ann M. Martin. At first, Dot and Bree are skeptical. Kids babysitting kids? Then Malia informs them it will be a great way to make a ton of money, which they need in order to throw themselves the best joint thirteenth birthday party the seventh grade has ever seen. The three girls embark on their new business venture with high hopes and no idea of what could possibly go wrong. Of course, practically everything does. By the end of the book the girls have learned a lot about starting a business, perseverance, and friendship.
This book is so cute and seriously funny. The humor is on point both for the intended age group and for someone like me who is decidedly not within the intended age group. There are a ton of pop culture references which I’m not sure younger readers will get, but who knows these days? I tore through it last week when I was sick and it was the perfect distraction. I have never read the Babysitter’s Club series so I have no way of knowing just how similar the two are, but I gather that the only similarity is the concept of preteens babysitting small children.
The characterization was strong and even some of the minor character played roles that I could easily see transitioning into subsequent books in the series. The plot was well-developed, and not one which I could easily predict the outcome (more or less, maybe, but not entirely) and the rotating perspectives in each chapter allowed the reader to get to know each character in a unique way.
If you are looking for a fun and funny middle grade, I think you would really enjoy this!