The babysitters are back!

Confession: I actually started squealing when I learned of the prequel to “The Baby-Sitters Club” series, a novel called The Summer Before that will be released in April 2010.

On New Year’s Eve, BSC publisher Scholastic distributed a press release with information about The Summer Before. The book will be about, well, the summer before the Baby-Sitter’s Club was founded, detailing a time when four tweens are “on the edge of something big—not just the club that will change their lives, but also the joys and tribulations of being a girl.”

Scholastic hopes the prequel will renew interest in the whole series, and they will also re-release paperbacks of some of the original books, starting with Kristy’s Great Idea. So kids raised on Wii and Webkinz can relate to the books, certain anachronisms (“cassette player”; “perm”) will be updated.

In a recent article from the New York Times, the words “rabid passion” are used to describe the relationship between The BSC and its fans, and I understand. Although I didn’t read all 213 titles of Ann M. Martin’s series, I probably read 100—and I modeled aspects of my life after Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey. (I wanted Kristy’s athletic ability; Mary Anne’s boyfriend/organizational skills; Claudia’s jewelry; and Stacey’s clothes.) Not only were the girls in the series fun, entrepreneurial and relatable. They also dealt with issues like not fitting in at school, arguing with friends, divorce and diabetes. And they resonated with a lot of kids. Baby-Sitters Club books have sold 176 million copies.

What do readers think? Will The Summer Before be a hit? Will passionate fans jump to revisit Kristy and the gang, or is it better not to tamper with a series that’s already great?

What’s your favorite book from the series? I was always partial to the “Super Specials,” especially Super Special #5: California Girls! (“Who would believe it—the Baby-sitters have won the lottery! And with their winning money, the girls are all going with Dawn to… California!”) Which girl were you? (I was a Mary Anne/Claudia hybrid, if that’s possible.)

Related in BookPage: Read a review of Everything for a Dog, Ann M. Martin’s recent children’s book.

6 Responses to The babysitters are back!

  1. CJ says:

    Oh my gosh, YES, I am excited. I couldn’t tell you how many of these books I read, but that was how I spent most of my money as a child. I always wanted to be a Dawn-Mary Ann hybrid.

    I couldn’t pick a favorite, but the super special when they went to Disney (was it world or land?) stands out. I grew up in Florida and was DYING to go to Walt Disney World, so reading about my favorite babysitters’ adventures was a treat.

  2. Steph says:

    Loved the BSC. Owned at least 100 books, had the board game (tell me I wasn’t the only one!), tried to start my own BSC… you name it, I was obsessed.

    Do I think the books will make a comeback? I have no idea – can the BSC compete with Twilight? It makes me sad to think girls don’t read these books anymore, so let’s just say I hope they have a successful renaissance!

    My favorite book? I loved the Super Specials, too. Particularly the one where they go to Disney World, but I also liked the one where they go camping at Shadow Lake (?) and also the one where they go on vacation with Mallory Pike’s family. For the non-super specials, I’ll always love “Logan Loves Mary Anne”, as she was always my favorite member (she was the book worm but she still was the first to have a boyfriend!). “Claudia & Mean Janine” has a special spot in my heart because it was the first one I ever read!

  3. Erica says:

    Loved BSC when I was a kid! My favorite character was Claudia, but I’m most like Mary Anne, personality-wise. I loved the Super Special when they were in Hawaii. :)

  4. Trisha says:

    Another Super Special Fan here! I loved how they would take turns telling the story. I think my fave Super was the one where they went on a ski trip.

  5. Nadia says:

    I loved BSC when I was a kid and even went to watch the movie they made out of the books. I definitely related to Mary Anne and Claudia. What fun books! I think its great they are going to release a prequel. So exciting for future BSC readers! As for which book was my favorite – truth be told I don’t really have one. I loved them all!

  6. […] this news about beloved teen series might be too much to handle. (In case you missed the updates, The Baby-Sitters Club is coming back and Sweet Valley High might be turned into a […]

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