Sunday, 20 July 2014

Return To The "The Baby-Sitters Club" World With Dawn: Diary One

If you grew up during the 80s and the 90s, then you probably remember the popular children book series The Baby-Sitters Club from author Ann. M. Martin. The books were so popular that a short-lived television series aired on HBO in 1990, a feature-film version in 1995 and several spinoff book series. One of the series was titled California Diaries and is now available to purchase on Kindle.

Dawn: Diary One was the first book in the series and was originally published in 1997. The book centers on the original BBC member, thirteen-year-old Dawn Schafer, who leaves her life in
Stoneybrook, Connecticut and moves back to California to live with her father, step-mother and brother. She reunites with her old friends, Sunny, Maggie and Jill. Everyone is invited to Jill's sleepover, but the other girls want to skip it, so they can attended a high school party.

While the original BSC had kid-friendly plots, the California Diaries series took on more adult themes, which in this story Sunny drinks alcohol and gets sick at the party shortly before the police arrive to break up the party. Jill is outraged over her friend's dumping her for a party. Dawn must make a difficult decision of whom she should be friends with.

The BSC franchise has always been attended for young girls, but I was one of the few male readers as a child. I loved reading books at an early age and I uickly read all the books from the boys section of the small elementary school library, so I started venturing into the girl's book titles, reading a few BSC titles and Sweet Valley High books. I recall coming home from school one day and finding a box full of BSC books that my mom bought a garage sale for me. 

I wasn't aware that there were so many spinoff series. Dawn: Diary One is missing some of the charm that made BSC likeable and takes a slightly darker approach. Despite being an eight grader and due to overcrowding, all of Dawn and her friend's classes are in the High School building, forcing them to enter a world that they are not ready for. There were only a 15 books published in the series, with Ann M. Martin only penning a few titles; the others were written by ghostwriters. With all of the BSC franchise titles out-of-print, it is nice to see the California Diaries arriving on Kindle for a new generations of readers to enjoy. Overall, Dawn: Diary One is an enjoyable read and I recommend it others.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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