Katie MacBride and Jen Sherman are Book Riot’s resident Baby-Sitters Club mega-fans, and both have written about BSC before. In this post, they talk about their memories and experiences of growing up with the BSC.
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JS: The most influential and long-lasting series in my life, however, was the Baby-Sitters Club. I picked up one at random when I was 11, and never looked back. I don’t even remember what drew me in initially, because I recognise that they are not great literary works, but at some point I became so immersed in the world of Stoneybrook, Connecticut and the lives of the baby-sitters that I couldn’t leave. I’m still there today.
KM: My older sister was reading the BSC books when I was about seven years old and she started reading them to me. My mom thought I was too young for the books (the girls sometimes had boyfriends! *gasp*) but my sister—displaying the talent that now makes her an excellent lawyer—argued in my favor. The moment I got the green light, I devoured all the BSC (and BSC Little Sister) books I could. I roped my cousin into the depraved world of Stoneybrook, Connecticut and we read them obsessively, long after my sister had outgrown them.
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JS: I read all the BSC books that were in the school library and that my teachers had in the classroom. We had the Scholastic Book Club at my school, and once a month, we would get the catalogue full of books. We’d take that home, go through it with our parents, and mark out which books we wanted to (or were allowed to) buy. Filled in the form, returned it with money, and on some magical day some time later, our books would arrive. I was a bit of a spoilt only child, so every month my parents would buy me a few books. BSC were always part of that.
When I was in my early 20s, I owned probably about two thirds of the full series (213 books in total at the time, before they released graphic novels and modernised versions of some of the originals). I decided I wanted the full collection, and set about scouring secondhand bookshops, op-shops, and eBay for missing titles. I remember I paid about $30 for one of the California Diaries on eBay, just to complete the collection, and wishing I bought it when it first came out when it cost $6.
I do now own the full set, but they aren’t all with me. They’re split between my parents’ house in Sydney and my house in San Diego, and splitting up the collection was one of the harder aspects of moving to America.
KM: My parents were always really cool about letting my sister and me go into bookstores and were really generous about buying books for us. That said, when The Great and Powerful Ann M. Martin started coming out with one BSC book per month, they weren’t thrilled. But, they saw that I reread them obsessively and held on to them as though they were the most precious objects, so I ended up owning most of them. Anything I couldn’t get my hands on, my cousin would and we would swap ASAP.
In college, I went through a battle with my mom where she was giving away a bunch of my childhood stuff and I told her in no uncertain terms that she was not to get rid of any of my BSC books. Not unreasonably, she reminded me that I was a legal adult now and it was absurd to cling to books written in the 80s for 12 year-olds as though they were precious family heirlooms. But she saved them and at 32 years old, I still own and cherish them.
Link to the rest at BookRiot