Image via Wikia
Does the sight of those block letters make your inner tween clap with glee, too? The first hundred (not even the entire collection) of these well-loved tomes are still stored in my parents’ attic. I distinctly remember going rogue in elementary school and sneak-reading one of the mystery off-shoots during class under my desk. Nowadays, kids usually have cell phones on their laps when they’re otherwise engaged.
If you spent your youth poring over the dozens of The Baby-Sitters Club books, you’ll know exactly why it was so wonderful to hang out with their main characters, middle-schoolers Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn.
Image via Sony Movie Channel
With writer Ann M. Martin’s texts as guidebooks, young girls were able to navigate the distance between childhood and adulthood in a positive way. Tweens could identify with the lead characters, proud to proclaim whether they were artsy Claudia, sporty Kristy, bookish Mary Anne, stylish Stacey, cool Dawn, or some combination thereof. Beyond these markers, they also found role model-worthy qualities like self-confidence, responsibility, and independence.
The Baby-Sitters Club adventures portray the ups and downs of adolescence at home and at school. We see the main girls build a business and work hard to maintain it, fall in and out of first loves, and forge strong female friendships to anchor them through it all. The Baby-Sitters Club and its offshoots — Mysteries, Super Specials, Little Sister, etc. — spawned whole generations of goal-oriented, problem-solving, business-minded ladies. They created lifelong readers.
Image via Scholastic
Since its inception in the ’80s, The Baby-Sitters Club series has circulated more than 176 million books, which were just relaunched in 2009. It also led to a movie in 1995 with Rachael Leigh Cook, Larisa Oleynik, and Schuyler Fisk, as well as a 1990 TV series.
So, which Baby Sitter were you? Do you have a most memorable book from the series?