In 1986 when Ann M. Martin and Scholastic released the third novel of their new Babysitters Club series, they set the benchmark for what the series would become--this was bigger than a series about a group of girls having wacky or unpredictable adventures. Kristy's Great Idea introduced the characters, while the now horribly-dated (to the point where it was never re-released as a graphic novel,) second volume Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls helped to build on those themes. The Truth About Stacey, however, proved that there was a lot more depth to this series, through both its main plot (about a young woman living with a serious illness that separated her from her peers,) and the two subplots--one where Stacey's sitting charge is bullied by her peers for being different, and where a group of girls set up a rival babysitting club and neglect their sitting charges. And consider the fact that this was all written in such a way that nine year olds could understand it. Quite a remarkable achievement, really. So how does the graphic novel version stand up against the original?
Brilliantly, as it turns out.
Some of the story has been omitted or simplified which is unsurprising, given the format and the advances of the treatment for diabetes, but the guts of the plot is still there. I love the comic depictions of the nasty Liz Lewis and Michelle Patterson. Laine Cummings looks different to how I imagined her (less sophisticated perhaps,) seeming more ... vulnerable perhaps. (Funny, I never through of Laine, the leader of the cool New York pre-teens being vulnerable before.)
A wonderful nostalgia trip.