Author Spotlight: Ann M. Martin / Series Spotlight: The Baby-Sitters Club
Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Song: The Third Man score music
I grew up on a steady diet of classics and contemporary stories. I'd polish off a book from the 1800s, then pick up the Scholastic Book Order form and dream of writing my own contemporary book series.
In the 1980s, the series I read and enjoyed most of all was The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. At the library, I regularly checked out BSC books as well as Martin's stand-alone novels, along with beloved dusty classics, more favorite series, and non-fiction. I bought Martin's books from the library book sale whenever they were available and affordable, then started to collect her new books as they were released. This is thanks to my mother, who let me know that it was okay for us to spend a few dollars a month on books.
When all is said and done, I own most (but not all) of the BSC books. I'm missing about twenty of the regular titles in the series and about twenty-five of the sub-series. I have read most of her non-series works as well.
Here's a bibliography of Ann M. Martin's works, with the proper chronology supplied by Wikipedia, and with titles/series I've read in bold print.
The Baby-Sitters Club, which included:
- The Baby-Sitters Club Super Specials
- The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries
- The Baby-Sitters Club Super Mysteries
- The Baby-Sitters Club one-shots (Secret Santa, Chain Letter, etc)
- The Baby-Sitters Club: Friends Forever
(Sadly, I do not own ANY of the Friends Forever series.)
The Baby-Sitters Club Little Sister
(Italicized because I only read a few of these books. Karen was a decent character, but this series was too young for me, and I greatly preferred the BSC.)
(Italicized because I have only read a handful of this series. I wouldn't mind reading more. The California Diaries were definitely different - edgier than the BSC - which I liked, and I found it ironic that her series with two Sunshines was the series that finally showed that life wasn't always happy, as those books didn't always have happy endings. I also like the covers, especially Sunny, Diary Three. There are only 15 California Diaries. I really ought to own these too.)
The Kids in Ms. Colman's Class
(This is her newest series. It has three titles so far, and at least two more are due in 2008.)
P.S. Longer Letter Later (co-author: Paula Danziger)
Snail Mail No More (co-author: Paula Danziger)
The Doll People (co-author: Laura Godwin)
The Meanest Doll in the World (co-author: Laura Godwin)
Me and Katie (the Pest)
With You and Without You
Missing Since Monday
Just a Summer Romance
Ten Kids, No Pets
Yours Turly, Shirley
Ma and Pa Dracula
Eleven Kids, One Summer
Rachel Parker, Kindergarten Show-off
Leo the Magnificat
A Corner of the Universe
A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray
On Christmas Eve
Many authors contributed to the BSC series. Ghostwriters included Suzanne Weyn, Peter Lerangis, Nola Thacker, Ellen Miles, Jan Carr, Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner. Editors included David Levithan.
Four of the original BSC books have been made into graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier, and I absolutely adore what she's done. Not only do the graphic novels stay true to the original storylines and text, but they stay true to the characters, who look as they have always been described. Even Dawn's ear piercings are correct! Read my post about The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix, which includes my summaries and reviews of four books - both the originals and the graphic novels.
In April 2010, Scholastic will be publishing The Summer Before, a prequel to The Baby-Sitters Club</a>. This will be an all-new story.
Also in April 2010, Scholastic will be re-releasing the first two books in the series, #1: Kristy's Great Idea and #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls. According to a December 2009 article in the New York Times, these reprinted editions will be "slightly revised": "Editors at Scholastic updated some of the references to technology and outdated fashions in the reissued books. So a "cassette player" has become "headphones" and a "perm" has become “an expensive hairstyle." I hope the changes are minimal, and I hope the series' revival does very well. Read Scholastic's official press release about The Summer Before and the reprinting of the series.
Check out my other posts related to the BSC, including The Baby-Sitters Club: What the BSC Means to Me.
Watch The Baby-Sitters Special Christmas on YouTube.
Thanks to Milly Marie for prompting this post.