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Kristy's Great Idea

(The Baby-Sitters Club #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  30,736 ratings  ·  1,356 reviews
Kristy thinks the Baby-sitters Club is a great idea. She and her friends Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne all love taking care of kids. A club will give them the chance to have lots of fun - and make tons of money.

But nobody counted on crank calls, uncontrollable two-year-olds, wild pets, and parents who don't always tell the truth. And then there's Stacey, who's acting more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Scholastic (first published 1986)
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Adelissa I saw a lilttle of myself in most of them, really. I had permed hair and health issues so I related to Stacey. I was overprotected, shy, and a bit of …moreI saw a lilttle of myself in most of them, really. I had permed hair and health issues so I related to Stacey. I was overprotected, shy, and a bit of a goody two shoes so I really related to Maryanne. I actually didn't like Dawn much aside from her long hair. Mostly because I am from California and I hate stereotypes. I am not into health food and crap like she is. I always felt younger than everyone else emotionally so I related to those feelings like Kristy. I loved Nancy Drews and I had an older sister who I was always compared to like Claudia. I was a book worm and loved the Misty of Chincoteague series like Mallory. I was into singing the way Jessie was into ballet. (less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiddiwinx
okay, so i have never babysat a day in my life. is it surprising that no one would entrust their little precious dumplings to my care??

however - i loved these books. and lately, i have found my mind drifting back to this series, and i kind of want to read them again, is that bad?? they were such a huge part of my early reading life - i read them ever so many times, and took my favorite ones on vacation with me year after year when my mom told me i could bring a friend.(is that super sad?) i stil
Dec 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Life
I am firmly convinced that, years hence, when Ann M Martin no longer graces the mortal coil with her presence, scholars will reflect upon the deceptively simple narrative lines of the Baby-Sitter's Club #1 and will discover the singing truths of human experience encoded in the mundane details of affluent suburban youth.

Like so many heroines before, Kristy attempts to reconcile her desire for autonomy with the crippling social restrictions on young females with her suburban Connecticut neighborh
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am using the first Baby-Sitter's Club to represent the approximately, I don't know, 100 plus BSC novels I not only read, but owned, in my late elementary / early middle school years. I was in love with these novels and even belonged to the BSC Book Club, where two novels (in sequential order) were mailed to me every month (or bimonthly, I don't really remember). I was gifted the BSC board game, which was terrible, but amusing. My sisters and I even used these novels as "textbooks" when we play ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
An irresistible re-read for 2018

The Baby-sitters Club was a concrete part of my 90's childhood. I use to take 3-4 books outside and read them in an afternoon. My cousins and I even wanted to start our own babysitters club!!

Just today ( October 15th, 2018) Goodreads posted a blog celebrating 80's YA paperbacks and my Elementary school still had Babysitters books so I just "had" to grab a few and take a walk down memory lane.

Kristin (Kristy) Amanda Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Mary Ann Spier, and St
I loved these books when I was younger. Really loved. I had all the 'Specials' volumes (my favourite was always #9 where they put on Peter Pan at the school and Jessie turns into a mean diva), and most of the original series. Stacey was my favourite of the original quartet. She's the epitamy of 80's cool, with her New York City living, high fashion, boy crazy personality. Stacey and Sam were ultimate couple goals.

This was a lovely little walk down memory lane with the first book in the series, w
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nostalgia, childrens
Like so many '90s kids, I was obsessed with The Baby-sitters Club. OBSESSED. I still have most of my collection (I sadly got rid of the many doubles I had), but I haven't really revisited the series as an adult. I was afraid that they'd feel really dated and it would tarnish the memory I have of them.

But yesterday the nostalgia got too much for me and I decided to pick up Kristy's Great Idea for the first time in about 20 years. And while aspects of the plot certainly are dated (so much of it h
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Baby-Sitters Club was a success. I, Kristin Amanda Thomas, had made it work." - Kristy, accepting the 1986 Mahatma Ghandi Award for Most Humble 12-Year Old Ever

Was Claudia described as having almond-shaped eyes:
Surprisingly, no. Although she was described as "exotic."

Was Mimi's accent described as rolling:

How many times was the word "incredulously" used:

What Would Claudia Wear:
-Short, very baggy lavender plaid overalls, a white lacy blouse, a black fedora, red high-top sneakers wit
Rosaline (Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls)
Ok, so this was better than New York, New York!, but still it wasn't a wowzer for me.
This is the first book in The Baby-Sitters Club series, and I think the mother of all the related books and series.
This is not the type of book I would normally read. If it weren't for this Lava Challenge I'm participating in, I would have never picked this book up to begin with. But these reading challenges are forcing me out of my comfort-zone and I am finding different aspects of myself that I never knew exi
Mike Lawson
Sep 23, 2010 rated it liked it
This book made me feel guilty. As a little soon-to-be gay boy in the 1980s, I watched my older sister devour the Baby-Sitters Club series. She just ate them up. And I learned at a young age it wasn’t “appropriate” for young boys to like the same things as their sisters.

“Michael, take off those Madonna gloves!”

When I picked up the first of the super-popular Baby-Sitters Club series, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of guilt. Kristy’s Great Idea is book #1, and about Krsity Thomas’ idea of forming a
Lauren R.
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it
I don't feel like taking the time to add the whole series. But C'mon, you know you read them...all 549085290 of them AND the spin-offs. Looking back, they were terribly written and not realistic at all...But that didn't stop us from dressing like Claudia or trying to start our own BSC. ...more
I am unashamedly going to admit, that The Baby-sitters club, was and is still, a firm favourite series of mine from my childhood. Sure, the writing isn't particularly special, the characters are just adequately developed, and one can usually guess where the plot is going, by the second or third chapter, but, these books have a lasting charm, that essentially shaped my childhood.

This book is a comfort, and I have taken refuge in it, during the last few days. I have enjoyed the simplicity of the p
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads, audiobooks
I am rereading the baby-sitters club books. I read them for the first time when I was in middle school and high school. I loved them so much, so I decided I wanted to reread them. I giving them five stars because they are great for middle grade kids and I loved them so much when I was that age. I loved reading them now because the memories they bring back too me, but I would not say they are great for a 36 year old person to read the first time.
I absolutely loved these books in Elementary school in the 90s. I so desperately wanted to be part of a baby-sitters club! I've been meaning to reread some of these for awhile, but I guess the new show that came out finally gave me the push to do so. I probably won't watch it because I never even watched the original show in the 90s - the books were my jam!

I have a lot of fond memories of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey. Although I didn't remember any specific details about what happens i
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 80s babies who are all now too old to be reading these
Recommended to Dray by: they had colorful covers. that's all it takes
I'm terribly tempted to add all the BSC books to my goodreads for two reasons:
1. I'm at work doing absolutely nothing else.
2. It would make me look all badass with lots of books...until someone happened to notice that half of them are the Babysitter's Club books. My badass badge would then be taken away.

So I'll just add the first one. These books get five stars for the sheer entertainment value of 7-10 year old Andréa. I thought those girls were SO COOL. Stacy and Claudia were totally my favorit
Cora Tea Party Princess
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cora by: Aoife
5 Words: Friendship, secrets, loyalty, family, responsibility.

That was cute.

I would have likely loved it when I was 12, and even now when I'm very much older it was a lovely read. I enjoyed the story, how the girls were introduced, the funny little problems they encountered. It was lovely.
Sarah DiMento
This just popped up on my Goodsreads updates and now I'm feeling so nostalgic. I adored this series when I was a kid. Even just looking at the covers makes me happy. I'm really tempted to buy them all and read them again, but what if they're terrible now?? ...more
I'm working on a podcast about the BSC and when I went for a walk last week and spotted the first book in a Little Free Library, I grabbed it (I have some other copies from my childhood). It holds up. I didn't realize how outspoken and obnoxious Kristy was. And I love the clothing descriptions which are cringe-worthy but seen as "soooo cool." ...more
Nov 13, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: maybe little girls who hate to read, if you're really desperate
I can't rate these books, because giving a bad rating would be a lie -- I was crazy about them when I read them -- but giving them a good rating would be misleading because it would lead you to believe that they were good, and they're not. I mean, in a way they must be or they wouldn't have been so popular, but they're definitely Lame, especially when you consider how much incredible children't fiction there is out there.

The closest thing to these books for me is the Doors, one of the other few
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Looking back I'm a bit ashamed to admit I enjoyed this series so much. By no means are the books well written; the characters are flat, the plots predictable. Everything is dressed in a neat and tidy bundle, all works out in under 150 pages. You can almost hear the sappy music as the book draws to a close. Even as a preteen I recognized this was not great literature, especially as the series rapidly expanded, Ann Martin and what must have been a slew of ghost writers turning out books at an alar ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Single Step, or, Adventures in Gayby-sitting

During Orientation Week in college, I made all the best friends I would ever need, thank you very much. This was the beginning of my Great Transformation. From an aloof, emotionally-reserved Band Geek in high school, I was embarking on a Journey that would make me a Free Man and a Cool Kid and in retrospect probably a complete freeloading burnout.

In that first week, I went with my new best friends to sit on "Mount Oberlin" -- a tiny hill that was the
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
On one of my book challenges, I needed to read a book from my childhood. Plus, I'm in a pretty serious reading slump, and thought a short book would help me get out of it..

I loved these books when I was younger, I remember checking out a couple every time I went to the library as a child.
It wasn't a bad book, I enjoyed the nostalgia from re-reading it, and it was a quick read.

(my ten year old self would've given it a 5/5)
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
3.5/5 — super fun and quick read! i love the characters and am excited to read the next ones
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Decided I wanted to Re-Live my childhood and read all these books from start to finish! 4 childhood friends come together to start a BABY-SITTERS CLUB. All of these girls Have major differences but all manage to be great friends. In this specific book we find out a big secret that Stacy is hiding...but would her friends truly judge her if they knew? What a great and fast nostalgic read
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I blame Paperback Crush for this foray into my childhood. The rereads of my beloved Babysitters Club did not disappoint. What a joy it was to be reunited with my favorites from this beloved series that marked my childhood.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I never read a single one of these books when I was a kid, even though I was a kid when they were at their height. I was very turned off by their covers, and also by the fact that they were the popular thing to be reading at school....I tended to reject anything that was popular.

On the recommendation of friends who have fond memories of these books, I read the first book just last month and I can't believe how much I LOVED it. I've read two more since then. I've been encouraging my students to r
Schizanthus Nerd
The year was 1986. I was in the second grade. My childhood dog was still a puppy. It was my first year playing netball. It was also the year Kristy Thomas had a great idea.

It was an idea that meant that every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5.30pm to 6pm, I’d be thinking about Kristy, Claudia, Stacey and Mary Anne (and later in the series, new BSC members). I knew they would be hanging out in Claudia’s bedroom waiting for the phone to ring. She’d have junk food for those who partook and health
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: feminist rulers and horse girls
When asked to name a childhood hero at a recent Feminist Club meeting, I instantly knew who to name: Kristy Thomas. Kristy is a tomboy, an alpha female, and totally gay (well, she gets a boyfriend later, but he is totally a beard). This book is girl love at its finest.
Since I read this to my daughter I allowed her to rate it. But I fully agree with her choice :)
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay, I read this for the pure nostalgia factor, as I started the Netflix series this weekend and it brought back ALL the childhood memories of these books that were my favourite when I was in primary school.

The first book is undeniably sweet, and very age appropriate (not my current age) - it was great seeing all the little seeds they planted in this first book that would be developed further on.

It also made me admire how well the Netflix series managed to balance that old school feel while br
April (Aprilius Maximus)

I reread this book for my rereading childhood favourites video!

representation: being a child of a non-nuclear family, Japanese American character, (view spoiler).

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


TELL ME WHY I WANNA GO AND READ ALL 2495000 BOOKS IN THIS SERIES. This held up so well in my opinion, even though it was first published in the 80's! I loved it so much (
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Hannah O'Regan Review 3 1 1 Sep 27, 2019 06:53PM  

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Ann Matthews Martin was born on August 12, 1955. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with her parents and her younger sister, Jane. After graduating from Smith College, Ann became a teacher and then an editor of children's books. She's now a full-time writer.

Ann gets the ideas for her books from many different places. Some are based on personal experiences, while others are based on childhood me

Other books in the series

The Baby-Sitters Club (1 - 10 of 131 books)
  • Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-sitters Club, #2)
  • The Truth About Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club, #3)
  • Mary Anne Saves the Day (The Baby-Sitters Club, #4)
  • Dawn and the Impossible Three (The Baby-Sitters Club, #5)
  • Kristy's Big Day (The Baby-Sitters Club, #6)
  • Claudia and Mean Janine (The Baby-Sitters Club, #7)
  • Boy-Crazy Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club, #8)
  • The Ghost at Dawn's House (The Baby-Sitters Club, #9)
  • Logan Likes Mary Anne! (The Baby-Sitters Club, #10)
  • Kristy and the Snobs (The Baby-Sitters Club, #11)

Articles featuring this book

Gabrielle Moss has charted the history of ‘80s and ‘90s YA novels, from The Baby-Sitters Club to Wildfire, in Paperback Crush: The...
222 likes · 89 comments
“I hoped that Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and I - the Baby Sitters Club - would stay together for a long time.” 10 likes
“Sheep are in.” 8 likes
More quotes…