Putting the “e” in BSC: Nadia on how the series prepared her for middle school
By Guest Blogger on December 6th, 2012
Today is Nadia’s turn to talk about how The Baby-sitters Club had such a big impact on her reading life, as we all celebrate the news that The Baby-sitters Club series is now available as ebooks! Nadia’s talked about the BSC on here before, but she takes her fandom to a whole new level with this post. (I should know…she made me lend her book #4, Mary Anne Saves the Day, for a quick re-read before she wrote this! — Morgan)
Take it away, Nadia!
I grew up in the ‘90s. I collected Beanie Babies, danced the Macarena, carried Lisa Frank folders, and watched Boy Meets World on TGIF. It breaks my heart a little when my younger cousins and family friends don’t understand my 90s references. I was recently at a Communion and when the DJ played the YMCA, none of the kids the dance (I know this isn’t from the 90s, but STILL!). I was in shock! But this didn’t compare to my horror when I learned that that my 10-year-old neighbor (whom I baby sat for) had no idea what the Baby-Sitters Club was! I mean, this book series was a huge part of my childhood, and is now capturing the love of a whole new generation of readers!
I started reading the Baby-sitters Little Sister books when I was 6. My cousin Jenine, who is two years older than me, passed her collection of 20 books down to me. I loved reading about Karen Brewer, her two families, and her friends. By the time I was 7, I was ready to move on, so I gave my Little Sister books away and started on the Baby-Sitters Club.
I related most to Mary Anne – I was shy, quiet, and sensitive, but I always wished I was more like Claudia. She’s an amazing artist with a fabulous fashion sense. She’s outgoing, brave (Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, anyone?). My favorite book was #4, Mary Anne Saves the Day. Over the course of 114 pages, timid Mary Ann stays strong in the midst of a fight with her best friends. She makes a new friend (who later becomes her stepsister), handles a potential crisis, and gains the confidence to talk to her dad about wearing different clothes. She could do anything! And I felt like I could, too.
When I read the series, I felt like I had an inside look into a “grown-up” world filled with best friends, fights, middle school drama, and family drama. When I was old enough, I started to baby-sit. No, I didn’t make a Kid Kit or think to myself “what would Kristy do?” But my friends and I made cards with our phone numbers to give to families we babysat for, took a babysitting/CPR course at the library, and swapped babysitting mishaps (broken windows playing baseball, crying kids, lost dogs, fights between the kids…the list goes on). At holidays and family gatherings, adults and kids expected me to watch and entertain everyone. So I invented games, made scavenger hunts, and build tents. After reading so many of the books, I felt like I could handle any situation. The books gave me confidence. I could handle middle school. I could handle a fight with my friends. And I could handle kids.
As I grew older, I gave away my BSC books to make room for my newer obsessions, like Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. Looking back, I wish I had kept those books. I reread Mary Anne Saves the Day, and it was like catching up with an old friend. When I started working at Scholastic, I started rebuilding my collection with books I found around the office and with books donated to me. (Thanks, Morgan!)
My little cousins are too young for to read the Baby-Sitters Club, but once they are old enough, you can be sure I’ll be getting them the books. For my older cousin’s birthday, I sent her the Baby-Sitters club prequel The Summer Before. I’m not sure who was more excited – me as a 7-year-old discovering the books for the first time, or her, as a 27-year-old rediscovering the magic.
No comments yet