It’s not 1986 anymore. (It’s better!)
By Morgan on January 4th, 2010
That’s because Ann M. Martin’s bestselling series from Scholastic, The Baby-sitters Club®, ingrained itself so organically into the world of girls of a certain age that it continues to be talked about often, usually in revered, hushed tones (er, maybe that’s just me?). Debuting in 1986, the BSC was meant to span four titles; but 176 million books in print later, it’s clear the BSC has permanently cemented its place on bookshelves everywhere.
These days, there are entire web sites devoted to reminiscing about the plot lines and analyzing the characters’ clothing, and more than once I’ve gotten into a conversation about which fashion house Claudia would be designing for now, or how many bestsellers Mallory would have penned. And while new fans continue to join the fold, oldies like me still form a significant base of the fandom. And now, as The New York Times reported during the quiet days of winter break last week, there’s news that’s making me shiver in excitement on this freezing cold Monday morning: Scholastic is reviving the BSC, giving the books some minor updates (no more perms for Stacey, for example), brand new covers, and even – to the delight of yours truly – a brand new prequel!
I’d heard rumors of what was coming many months back, but I thought they were too good to be true. But then, my new favorite person at Scholastic handed me an advance copy of The Summer Before, coming in April, which re-introduces readers to Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey (sorry Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, and Abby fans!) before the official Baby-sitters Club even existed (and even before Stacey ever moved to Stoneybrook!). Let’s just say I devoured the book and, upon finishing, realized that my answer to the eternal BSC question still stands: I’m a Kristy, with hints of Dawn and just a splash of Mallory.
Part of what keeps me so invested in the BSC, I think, is the way it defined an entire era of my life using a friendship, rather than a romantic (or, say, vampire) type of focus: who among us didn’t nod in agreement when Stacey felt embarrassed about the secret she was keeping from her best friends, or when Mary Anne bravely stood up to her father? And really, who among us didn’t try to start their very own babysitting club?
We’ll likely keep the BSC posts coming (because, frankly, it’s just too much fun not to), but for now, check out what the Times had to say about it, or relive the original titles on Scholastic’s dedicated BSC page. And then leave us a comment in which you answer the eternal question: which BSC member are you?
Previously On Our Minds:
Posted: January 4th, 2010 under Books. .