Review: Kristy and the Snobs by Chan Chau (BSC Graphix 10)

The tenth BSC Graphix novel turns its attention to BSC President Kristy Thomas. This isn't much of a surprise, given that Kristy had one of the strongest plot lines of the early novels. A tomboy, well organised and occasionally a little too bossy, she's the perfect character to find herself in a rags to riches storyline. Her mother has now married millionaire Watson Brewer. Kristy has not been affected by her new lifestyle. She's still Kristy, she still wears the same clothes, she has the same friends and she still goes to the same school.

It is just that Kristy is having problems with the kids in her new, wealthy neighbourhood. 

The main instigator is Shannon, a girl the same age as Kristy, who makes fun of her clothes, the Baby-sitters Club and she even makes fun of Kristy's beloved collie Louie, who is old and sick with arthritis. But when Shannon starts playing mean pranks on Kristy while she's baby-sitting, and potentially puts the kids in danger, it's obvious that she's gone too far. Kristy needs to show her that she won't be messed with.

I'm going to have to be honest. This one lacks the impact of the original. While some characters, such as Amanda Delaney are as loveably annoying and bratty as ever, and I like that Kristy's neighbourhood has a more multicultural feel, I found the war between Kristy and Shannon to be more frustrating than entertaining. Shannon comes across as petty and mean spirited, rather than a basically decent kid who feels threatened that Kristy and the other members of the BSC are taking away her babysitting jobs. (Even if things do turn right in the end.) It also bugged me that we don't really see that joke war that appeared in the original (remember how Kristy had a van load of nappies delivered to Shannon's doorstep,) and instead, things take a more pious and turn, with Kristy lecturing Shannon on responsibility and reporting her to an adult. (Come on. Kristy was always the character who played the best pranks. Remember the time she phoned a rival Baby-sitting business and pretended that she needed a sitter because she was going on a date with Winston Churchill? Or the time she put a plastic, bloodied thumb in a box of popcorn to get back at a bratty kid? Or what about her relationship with Alan Gray?)

On the plus side, Chan Chau does a brilliant job of retelling Louie's storyline, which left me with tears in my eyes. 

While I love some of the ways these books have modernised the series, I found that this one lacked the nostalgia that previous authors/illustrators, in particular Raina Telgemeier, were able to include in each volume. Still, this is Chau's first entry in the series, and it's a tough gig, particularly as the author is working side-by-side with the brilliant Gabriella Epstein.

I'd recommend this one to young fans, especially for the Louie storyline, but older readers looking for those nostalgic feels may want to skip this one.

The next book in the series will be an adaption of Good-bye Stacey, Good-Bye, which will be released in February 2022. But for those who can't wait that long, a new Baby-sitters Little Sister Graphic novel will be released in late December 2021. Kristy and the Snobs also features a short storyline that includes Mariah and Gabby Perkins, who are awaiting the birth of their baby sister, which leaves me wondering if Little Miss Stoneybrook and Dawn will be an upcoming title in the series. 

Trivia for fans:

  • This is the tenth novel in the graphic novel series, but is an adaption of the eleventh novel in the original series.
  • This is Kristy's third graphic novel, making her the only character to have three books. To date, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey each have two books, and Dawn appears in one.
  • Two books of the original series have been skipped--Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, and The Ghost at Dawn's House. 
  • The BSC graphics series follows a different chronology with some of the Claudia stories being skipped or published ahead. (Claudia and Mean Janine was the fourth BSC graphix novel, but the seventh in the original series, and Claudia and the New Girl was the ninth BSC graphix novel and book twelve in the original series.)


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