I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I’m a die-hard, #1 Babysitters Club fan. Like, for real, forever. (Team Claudia, in case you’re wondering.) I read all the books up to number 60-something when I was a kid/past the time I should’ve been reading them. (In all fairness, I was reading a lot of complicated, interesting, age-appropriate stuff too. But the BSC habit dies hard.) Then, as I’ve become a full-fledged mama, I’ve downloaded and read a whole bunch more later in the series because…uh…when my girls get old enough…I’ll be able to tell them about the characters and…something, something.
Nah, I’m still a fan.
(Side note: do you know what happened to Mallory? Her story line got a bit weird later on! She ended up participating in this ‘students-teach-students’ kind of program at Stoneybrook Middle School – what school does this?- and, in true Mallory fashion, messed it up. Her cruel-but-kinda-accurate name was Spaz-Girl! She got hella depressed about school and decided to apply at a boarding school. And she was accepted there on a scholarship. Which is good, because she has eighty-billion siblings and I can’t see Mr. & Mrs. Pike being OK with forking over a crap-ton of money for ol’ Mal’s education. Anyway, then she went off to boarding school, never to be heard from again, except on one of the seventy-four summer vacations the BSC enjoyed over their two-year friendship).
Anyway, here’s what I love about the BSC:
- The outfits. These are SO quintessentially eighties-early-nineties that it HURTS. Claudia dressed like it was Halloween every damn day, and no matter what kind of crazy nonsense she wore, it “would’ve looked insane on anyone else, but on Claudia the outfit just worked.” Did it, Ann M? Did it REALLY?
- The timelines. OK, so you went to California, Hawaii, New York, summer camp, a trip across the USA, multiple Sea City visits and a few more New York and California trips just for kicks in TWO years? Dude, when did you go to school? There are SO many summer/spring/winter vacations over the course of the series. I think they literally just gave up when it came to making any sense of what happened when.
- The wacky-near-impossible stories (especially the mysteries) intermixed with the super-boring, nothing really happens books.
- The misunderstandings that could’ve been SO EASILY RESOLVED by talking to an adult (I’m looking at you, Claudia and the Great Search. If you thought you were adopted, C-Kish, why didn’t you ask your parents?)
- The candy. The hiding of candy around Claudia’s room. Candy in general.
- The fact that almost everyone’s dad was named John. It’s kind of weird, but true! Other than Watson, I think most of the dads were John.
- The ghostwriters and their fairly obvious styles. They all TRIED to sound like the OG, Ann M. Martin, but their voices were quite distinct. No matter, I would’ve read the BSC written by Stephen King as long as it had a Claudia outfit description in it.
So I love the BSC. It’s in my blood, it’s in my past, it’s in my present, on my Kindle and, since Christmas, the graphic novels (illustrated by the ridiculously talented Raina Telgemeier) are on my shelf. Vivi has absconded with book 1 (Kristy’s Great Idea), but I’ve hidden The Truth About Stacey in my office for later reading.
I will read it and report back. All in the name of helping you, of course. Not because I love it dearly and am so happy to see Vivi as obsessed as I was.
Not at all. All for you.