Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who remembers The Baby-sitters' Club by Ann Martin. Four pre-teen girls - or was it three and THEN four and then five and then a guy and then they were teens - anyway, they ran a successful babysitting business and dealt with all kinds of dilemmas in a wholesome, addictive manner. The series eventually numbered in the hundreds with Special Editions and the Baby-Sitters' Little Sisters spin-off and another spin-off about the original four as teens.

Well, The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer may be the beginning of a new series for independent young teen girls. And this series includes recipes and beauty tips and lists. What is it about lists? Lists have become a new plot device, similar to "hand-written" journal entries at the beginning of chapters. I think "plot device" is not exactly the right term but I hope you know what I mean....ENOUGH.

Teashop Girls stars Annie Green, her best friends, Zoe and Genna, and her grandmother's teashop, The Steeping Leaf. Thirteen year old Annie gets a job as a barista at The Steeping Leaf just as her grandmother is about to lose the lease on the shop. Annie and her friends decide to save the shop but they only have six weeks and school and sports responsibilities that complicate things.

There are enough spats and a tiny bit of romantic tension to keep this light, fun novel moving. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the Teashop Girls, something I never said about the Baby-Sitters' Club. To be fair, I like tea better than babysitting and Ann Martin is an AWESOME author, whatever she's writing.

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