Saturday, July 18

Confessions with Theresa – Part 2

Confessions with Theresa - Part 2

By: Theresa Dillon

“I’ve got another confession to make!” – Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Best of You

I, Theresa Dillon, am a 35-year-old woman who still enjoys middle grade fiction. 

I will gladly pick up the latest Brandon Mull book to read over any Oprah Book Club picks (and she has great ones). 

Why can’t I just grow up? Maybe because a part of me honestly doesn’t want to. And why should I? I already have so many responsibilities as adult, the adventures and innocent growing pains are refreshing to read – and watch.

My latest middle grade obsession is the Netflix series “The Babysitters Club.” 

I was obsessed with those books (at the deemed-appropriate age of 11). I had every single book in the series. I watched the original TV series from the 90s on the Disney Channel. I saw the “The Babysitters Club” movie the first weekend it came out and bought the soundtrack during our family trip to Best Buy (I also miss those days).

Author and producer, Ann M. Martin.

When I had to pack up my room before college, I was torn about giving all my BSC books away. But I chose to keep a few of my all-time favs for future reading and gave the rest away so another girl (or boy) could get the same satisfaction I did with every page I read.

And now those same girls and boys, can watch this latest revival of “The Babysitters Club.”

It is probably one of my favorite series of the year. Not only did Netflix stay true to the characters and story arcs of the series but they masterfully introduced today’s tech and culturally landscape and made the BSC an even stronger anthem of girl power.

As author and series producer, Ann M. Martin said in a recent People interview, “It’s incredible to be talking about the series in 2020 and I’m proud that the series reflects the different landscape, 34 years later. A lot has changed. I love that they made Dawn [Schafer’s] father gay and that they introduced a transgender babysitting charge. As someone who is gay, I know how much positive representation matters, especially to kids.”

And that’s not all, The Babysitters Club was always known to touch on tough topics such as divorce, health, death and diversity. One of the most poignant episodes features character Claudia Kishi coming to terms with her family’s history as Japanese Americans. 

I wish I had a daughter I could share this with right now. Instead, I’ve resorted to telling all my mother-daughter friends that “The Babysitters Club” is a must watch. One day, I may be lucky to share this great series. Until then, I watch it for my 11-year-old self.

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