With the 30th anniversary of The Baby-sitters Club this week, was there ever any doubt that this week's Throwback Thursday would be dedicated to Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey? Specifically, we're looking back at some of the #1s in Ann M. Martin's popular series, from Super Specials to Little Sister spin-offs.
First, let's look back at the #1 that started it all ... Kristy's Great Idea!
This book, published in 1986, would go on to inspire four related series, approximately 250 individual titles, a TV show, a movie ... and millions of fans!
Each BSC story was told from the point-of-view of one of the club members. As the series took off, more members were added to the core four (including Dawn, Mallory, and Jessica), and more related series were created. Check out Mystery #1: Stacey and the Missing Ring, Super Special #1: Baby-sitters On Board!, and Super Mystery #1: Baby-sitters' Haunted House!
The Mystery books are pretty self-explanatory; each book was from the POV of one of the girls (just like in the original series), and featured a creepy or mysterious story that needed to be solved. The Super Specials had larger plots than the ones featured in the regular series, and tied in POVs from multiple characters. Combine those two structures and you got the Super Mysteries!
(BTW, that big sticker covering the artwork of Mystery #1? It says that this book is property of Scholastic. When Scholastic librarian Deimosa and I were looking for all these #1 books in the catalogue, so many copies were already checked out by employees. The BSC series is just as popular as ever, and these stickers help ensure that our copies make it back to the Library! [This one has unfortunately been stuck to the front, a rare occurance.] But I won't leave you hanging; here's what the cover artwork looks like!)
Now, let's talk spin-offs! Here we have California Girls #1: Dawn, and The Baby-sitters Little Sister #1: Karen's Witch! The California Girls series featured BSC member Dawn Schafer and her life in California. The themes and plots in this series were a bit more adult than those in the BSC series. And on the other end of the spectrum, we had a series focused on the adventures of Karen Brewer, BSC President Kristy's seven-year-old stepsister! (Fun fact: That series also had Super Specials!)
Special thanks to Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey for her ongoing help with this series!