Like most of the internet I really enjoyed Netflix’s adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club. I thought it was utterly charming and clever. Timely and relevant, too: this is a kid’s show that handled a trans story better than most recent adult shows.⠀
Unlike most of the internet, however, I never read any of the books. (I didn’t read as a kid but even if I did I probably would have thought they were “girl books” and never picked them up, because this was the nineties and we were all ridiculous). The show didn’t exactly make me want to read one of the books now, but after I finished it I watched The Claudia Kishi Club documentary and that did it. It featured a bunch of cool people excitedly talking about their favorite childhood books and the power of representation and look infectious enthusiasm will always do it for me.⠀
I picked Baby-sitters on Board! mostly because it takes place on a cruise ship and I just find stories set on modes of transportation appealing. Also: Florida (which we all agree is terrible but it is also my second home). Like the show it was cute and charming, although not half as clever (but I’m not going to hold that against it). The story takes place around the same time I first visited Florida/Disney World too and it just brought all those memories back, which is nice. Nostalgia, man — always gets this reader.
Anyway Claudia Kishi is the best pass it on.⠀
The First Rule of Punk was just a gem. It starts as your typical new-kid-at-school-feels-like-an-outcast-until-she-finds-other-misfits kind of story. But then it quickly veers into and-then-they-form-a-ranchero-style-punk-band territory, and it becomes much more new and fun. It’s also the only book I’m aware of that uses zines as part of its format. Main character Malú’s energetic and cathartic collages are an integral part of the story (being her main method of expression) and author Celia C. Pérez did a great job incorporating them in. They were my favorite aspect of this middle grade novel.⠀
(Just realized that Florida also features in this book. All about themed reading here at ricardo reading.)