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Author Spotlight: Ann M. Martin / Series Spotlight: The Baby-Sitters Club

December 27th, 2009 (03:14 pm)

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.)

California Diaries
(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

Main Street
(This is her newest series. It has three titles so far, and at least two more are due in 2008.)

Short Sequences
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)

Stand-Alone Novels
Bummer Summer
Inside Out
Stage Fright
Me and Katie (the Pest)
With You and Without You
Missing Since Monday
Just a Summer Romance
Slam Book
Ten Kids, No Pets
Yours Turly, Shirley

Ma and Pa Dracula
Eleven Kids, One Summer
Rachel Parker, Kindergarten Show-off
Leo the Magnificat
Belle Teal
A Corner of the Universe
Here Today

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.


Posted by: Breathesymphony (breathesymphony)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)

Wow! Thanks for bringing back some memories! I too devoured all the BSC books as a kid. I recently purchased 4 of her new Main St series and I am looking forward to reading them.


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)

Hi there, Sarah! Nice to meet you.

Posted by: Breathesymphony (breathesymphony)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)

Nice to meet you, too. I've been reading your blog for a bit and this post finally convinced me to reply. My best friend growing up owned almost all the BSC books, and I owned most of the special editions, like the Secret Santa and Chain Letter.

I was heartbroken when I found out (only recently!) that most of the later BSC books were ghostwritten.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)

Thanks for reading and for de-lurking.

I too was shocked when I learned about the ghostwriters. In fact, I had an entire paragraph about that and the name-a-character contest which I deleted. :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)

Hurrah for inspiration. :)

The two P.S. books are very sweet.

At some point, I'll see if I can get the BSC Friends Forever books for a good deal.

Posted by: Claire Hennessy (iliketea)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)

I remember being so thrilled when I saw PS Longer Letter Later in a bookshop. Paula Danziger AND Ann M Martin! It was the coolest thing ever.

Yay, BSC. :D

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)

Those two books are sweet.
I'm sad that Danziger's gone.

Posted by: Leirb (briel)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Adrian smirk by geeksinthepink

I used to borrow the BSC movies from my library. I'm so going to go watch that ep on youtube right now! Eee. :]

It's funny that I liked these books because I don't like kids much. haha

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 28th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)

I watched and taped all of the episodes. :)

I didn't baby-sit that much either!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)

I love the baby-sitters club books. I think Ms. Martin did a great job.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: great

I agree.

Posted by: dianoraek (dianoraek)
Posted at: December 31st, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)

Oh, I hate the idea of them making changes. I understand they want to appeal to a new audience, but these books are my childhood!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 1st, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)

I know. I know. I live for the Rainbow Brite reference in the first book.

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