Type Book
Date 1986-12
Pages 167
Tags middle grade, fiction

The Truth About Stacey

The Baby-Sitters Club

Stacey moved to Stoneybrook, Connecticut from New York City. Her friends in New York abandoned her when she discovered that she had diabetes, and until she met Claudia, she didn't have any friends in Stoneybrook, either. But, she was invited to the Baby-Sitters Club, and now she's friends with Kristy and Mary Anne, too.

Life's settled into a pleasant pattern of baby-sitting and hanging out with her friends, when the members of the Baby-Sitters Club learn that a new group, the Baby-Sitters Agency, are moving in on their territory. On top of that, Stacey's parents want to take her to yet another doctor, hoping for a miracle cure to her diabetes, when all she wants is to go to school and stay with her friends. What's Stacey to do?

The Truth About Stacey is the third book in Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club series. This time, the story is told from Stacey's point of view.

I like the story in this one very much--both major plotlines are well-done and have good messages. The Baby-Sitters Agency, in the persons of Liz and Michelle, provides a good 'villain' for the story, and when the members of the Baby-Sitters Club begin to suspect that their rivals may not be such responsible baby-sitters as they make themselves out to be, it provides a good lesson about what's really important: to be responsible and ethical, even in the face of a challenge. To beat their rivals not through trickery, but by being better baby-sitters.

The second plotline, with Stacey's parents dragging her about the country in search of a cure for diabetes is well done, too. As Dr. Graham points out at the end: "Stacey seems incredibly healthy . . . and that comes from one thing only: regulating the amount of insulin in her body." Seeking miracle cures for diseases is not productive, and I hope that children who read this book will grow up to be skeptical of such things. If everyone were as sensible as Stacey, the world would be a better (and healthier) place.

I must say, I really like the technique of writing each of these books from a different character's point of view. It both gives us insight into how the characters feel about themselves and one another, and prevents the repetition of the premise in each book from getting too stale. Rather than Kristy telling us three times that she had the great idea for the Baby-Sitters Club, we get to hear instead how the formation of the club affected each of the members. Very well done, indeed.

The Truth About Stacey is, like the other books in the series, a great middle grade book, with both excellent story and characterization, and I'd recommend it without reservation to anyone looking for middle grade fiction.

Character Type
Anastasia "Stacey" Elizabeth McGill Main
Name Role
Ann M. Martin Author