Review: Karen's Sleepover (Baby-Sitters Little Sister Graphix 8) by Katy Farina and Ann M Martin

The top selling Baby-Sitters Little Sister graphix series is back with another excellent adaption. This time Katy Farina turns her attention to one of the classic titles of the series, Karen's Sleepover. And Little Sister fans know what that means. We meet the graphic novel version of Pamela Harding, who becomes a big part of the original Little Sister series and the eventual spin-off The Kids in Miss Coleman's Class. (I wonder if they will ever get a graphic novel adaption?)

This one begins with Karen realising that she has never had a sleepover with her friends, though her beloved older stepsister Kristy has them at the 'Big House' with her friends. Karen decides to rectify this important matter. Fortunately her father and stepmother agree to this and Karen soon starts making plans, including mailing out invitations. What could possibly go wrong?

Two things.

First, everyone receives their invitations except for Karen's neighbour and bestie, Nancy. This leads to confusion and an argument between the girls, and one that probably could have been sorted out by good communication between their parents, or even their teacher offering a five minute mediation session, but a big part of the appeal of the BSC books and their spin-offs is that there is always a focus on the kids sorting out problems for themselves. And so, Karen and Nancy deal with the problem in the way that girls their age might. By fighting and excluding one another. A second plot twist occurs when a new and very glamorous girl transfers to their class. Pamela Harding seems very sophisticated, wears fashionable clothing and, unlike the other kids in their class, is temporarily allowed to sit at the teachers desk. (A very big deal at that age.)

As is, and should be, common with kids that age, Karen wants to extend the hand of friendship to Pamela. She invites Pamela to the sleepover, and Pamela accepts. The only difficulty is once the party is underway, Pamela soon becomes dismissive of the planned activities and behaves rudely toward Karen and the other girls. Karen soon realises that Nancy would be having fun if only she were here ... and so she decides to rectify the situation and learns a huge lesson about true friendship. The plot also sets Pamela up as Karen's adversary for the rest of the series. I'm a bit disappointed that this will be the last in the series to be adapted by Katy Farina, but the good news is there are at least five more books in this series in the works being adapted by DK Yingst and Shauna J Grant and they include classic titles such as Karen's New Year. And this one was a high note for Farina to go out on. 

Karen's Sleepover is a fun and entertaining read, the kind of thing that will take grown up readers straight back to their childhoods in the best kind of way. The original was one of my favourite Little Sister books and this one is probably now my favourite of the Little sister graphix novels. 

Highly recommended.


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