Some of you may know that all the Babysitter’s Club books are being republished. They’re being revamped, since the older covers are dated and this is a new book added onto the series as a prequel. I can’t tell you how happy I am that the Babysitter’s Club is coming back. They kind of fell to the wayside since Ann M Martin stopped publishing new books in 2000. Let me just tell you, I was a HUGE fan of the BSC as a kid. I first read the books about Kristy’s little sister Karen and then I moved on to the actual BSC books. I now have a ten year old stepdaughter and I plan on buying her the first three or four books in the series to see what she thinks. I don’t really have high hopes—they don’t fall into the category of books she usually reads, so I doubt I’ll be successful but I may as well give it a shot.
First up is The Summer Before, by Ann M Martin. This book was released this past April to try to garner some hype for the rerelease of the first few BSC books. Summer is the story of Claudia, Kristy, Stacey and Mary Ann in the summer leading up to seventh grade and the start of BSC. Claudia, as we all now, is a budding fashionista and artist. In Summer, her friendship to Mary Ann and Kristy is fading away as she discovers over girls with the same interests: boys and clothes. Claudia even has her first boyfriend! Meanwhile, Mary Ann and Kristy are far behind on the maturity scale as they are not at all interested in boys. Mary Ann is not even allowed to baby-sit by herself! Her overly strict father insists that she take a friend along when she sits, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. Then you have Stacey—she is aching to move to Stoneybrook from NY, as all her friends have turned against her. Most kids that age would dread the thought of moving far away from their school and friends (I would have been horrified at the prosepect!) but Stacy is ecstatic to be moving away from her former-best-friend-turned-enemy Laine.
I haven’t read a BSC book in at least fifteen years, so I was doubtful this would be able to hold my attention. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to jump right back in to the series with (almost) as much enthusiasm as I had when I was a kid. I could read the BSC books all over again and still be interested. Which leads me to my next review–
Kristy’s Great Idea, by Ann M Martin and Raina . I found out a few new things about the BSC, including the fact that some of the first books have been adapted as graphic novels! I decided to go with Idea, as it is the first BSC book. As soon as I finished Summer, I moved right along to Idea and found that it was very true to the original text. It was fun having illustrations to go along with the text and I thought it was fresh and new, wish is pretty funny considering I know the storyline to Idea front and back! I think this is something my stepdaughter would appreciate more than the actual BSC books. I am not sure how she would react to the BSC books in general—they just don’t seem like her cup of tea, but she would be more inclined to read a graphic version.
Lastly, I read Dawn, by Ann M Martin. Apparently Martin created a spinoff series following Dawn Schaeffer and her friends once Dawn moves back to California . Although Dawn and her Cali friends founded the “We Love Kids Club” years earlier, the club never took off and the books (or at least this one) don’t focus on baby-sitting at all. Instead, Dawn is just starting eighth grade, which is part of the high school in her district. She and her friends are dealing with fitting in and starting at a new school while also grappling with personal issues. Sunny Winslow, whom you may remember briefly from the BSC books, has to deal with her mom dying of cancer, while Dawn is fighting to accept her stepmother. We also meet friends Ducky, Amalia and Maggie, who all have their own books in the series. The books are all written in diary format, which I enjoyed, and they are a lot coarser then the BSC books. Dawn and Sunny actually go to a drinking party, where Sunny drinks until she gets sick—something you’d never see from the goody two shoes BSC books! I really liked Dawn a lot and I wish I had known about these books in middle school and/or high school because I definitely would have read them. It doesn’t seem like they ever caught on though. My library doesn’t even have most of the books in this series and they pretty much have everything!
Are there any other BSC fans out there?