Inspired by The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, three best friends start a babysitting business. Hijinks ensue.
In her middle-grade debut, Cala introduces readers to a new gang of best friends intent on making fast money by wrangling messy children. Malia (or “Alia,” according to her rebranding campaign) is a sporty girl with her sights set on throwing THE BEST joint birthday party ever with her two best friends, Bree and Dot. The only thing standing in their way is their lack of cash. Luck, or maybe fate (as Dot’s “yogi-slash-tarot-card-reader” mom might claim), leads Malia to a free copy of Kristy’s Great Idea—and inspiration strikes. It’s not all smooth sailing. At one point Malia rallies her friends by telling them “Dreams are everything in life! Without them, we’re just blobs with feet that go to school and do a bunch of stuff we don’t really want to do.” Thanks to witty banter, ample humor and excellent characterization, readers will enjoy following this group of young dreamers as they attempt to gain some independence in their preteen lives. Though at times the storytelling is a bit all over the place (the third-person narration alternates among the three), the characters are sincere and genuine. Cala delves into insecurities and worries that young readers will no doubt find familiar. Malia presents black and Dot presents white; “technically…half Jewish” Bree has “olive” skin and shiny black hair.
A humorous homage that will appeal to lovers of quirky friendship stories. (Fiction. 11-13)