Review: The Teacher's Pet (Kids in Ms Coleman's Class Book 1) by Ann M Martin

By 1995 the Baby-Sitters Little Sister books, a spin-off from the Baby-Sitters Club had become such a hit in their own right that it too developed its own spin-off. And it is a real winner. The Kids in Ms Coleman's Class focuses on the second grade class at Stoneybrook Academy and fleshes out some of the beloved characters and events from the Little Sister series. Book One, Teacher's Pet opens at the start of a new school year. Nancy Dawes is nervous about starting second grade. She doesn't really know any of the other kids who have been assigned into Ms Coleman's class. Worse still, her best friend Karen Brewer who lives next door (well, when she's at the Little House) and she is only in first grade. Nancy's morning doesn't get off to the greatest of starts. All of the other kids are mean or seem to already have friends. And the teacher wants to have a day when the students bring their pets to school. (It's not realistic, but it's an Ann M Martin novel and we all know how much she loves animals. And besides, it's for kids.) Anyway, things come right again thanks to Karen's best friend from the big house, Hannie, and then the biggest and best surprise of all ... Karen is transferring to second grade. (I'd add a spoiler alert here, but this fact is so well known to Little-Sister fans that it hardly seems worth it.) 

This was a quick and enjoyable read. I can see Ann M Martin's input in here for sure, but the writing style feels different to the other books, leading me to believe that this series was written almost entirely by ghostwriters. So far, I've found it to the best of the BSC spin-offs that started to emerge in the mid-1990s and a real nostalgia hit. I'm keen to see how the series pans out and relates to the Little-Sister books.



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