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The Baby-Sitters Club #1

Kristy's Great Idea

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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 and more mysterious. Having a baby-sitters club isn't easy, but Kristy and her friends aren't giving up until they get it right!

153 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 1986

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About the author

Ann M. Martin

769 books2,580 followers
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 memories and feelings. Many are written about contemporary problems or events. All of Ann's characters, even the members of the Baby-sitters Club, are made up. But many of her characters are based on real people. Sometimes Ann names her characters after people she knows, and other times she simply chooses names that she likes.

Ann has always enjoyed writing. Even before she was old enough to write, she would dictate stories to her mother to write down for her. Some of her favorite authors at that time were Lewis Carroll, P. L. Travers, Hugh Lofting, Astrid Lindgren, and Roald Dahl. They inspired her to become a writer herself.

Since ending the BSC series in 2000, Ann’s writing has concentrated on single novels, many of which are set in the 1960s.

After living in New York City for many years, Ann moved to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York where she now lives with her dog, Sadie, and her cats, Gussie, Willy and Woody. Her hobbies are reading, sewing, and needlework. Her favorite thing to do is to make clothes for children.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/annmma...

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5 stars
13,382 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,658 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,968 reviews170k followers
July 10, 2018
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 still remember tons of tiny details about the series:

i remember that kristy burned her mouth on pizza in book one.

i remember that mary-anne's father told her she could buy a bikini as long as the bottom was decent (guess he didn't mind seeing her boobs hanging all over the place)

i remember that claudia's sister's iq was 196.

just stupid little facts, but i remember more about this series than i do about actual people i know (i recently got back in touch with one of my favorite people from high school and she mentioned that her brother just got engaged, and i was like - "dude, you have a brother?" however, i know that kristy had three (charlie, sam, and david michael))

bsc was my introduction to camus (and you had better believe i mispronounced that shit. also "janine" for some reason i rhymed it with "canine" in my head.) see how cute i was??

but what is the appeal of a series like this to a girl like me, who never wanted children, and preferred stuffed animals to dolls and never wanted even to be around other children?? was it just because i was a voracious reader, and these books came out so quickly that there was always something new? was it just for me to learn how to socialize with more normal girls with more traditional goals and mindsets? was it just because i had a mad crush on claudia and wanted to find all her hidden candy stashes? was it just because of the depth of characterization and high-lit postmodern flourishes of ann m martin?

it's anyone's guess really, but i feel like these stories, read so long ago, are nonetheless deeply ingrained on my brain. and lo!

i found a baby sitters club chronology,and i realize i only ever got up to number 24! so many more to read! plus super specials and bsc mysteries and baby sitter's little sister and super specials and bsc friends forever, whatever those are. i might just toss proust in the corner and regress and only read this series for the rest of my life.

but i looked at some silly timeline this on the internet, and now i have spoiled it - i know all the future events!! there is trauma and death and fire and leaving and returning and getting kicked out (!) of bsc!! (what did she do???)

also, in researching to figure out where i stopped reading them, i found this woman whose bsc reviews own my heart now.

i thank you for indulging me in what is in no way a book review, but a little squee of nostalgia from me to you.

p.s. - i hate hate hate the new covers.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books73k followers
August 29, 2019
Awww, estuvo muy bonito :).

No esperaba mucho de este libro, pero decidí escucharlo en audio porque la narradora es Elle Fanning y yo la amo, jajajaja. En fin, pensaba que solo escucharía el primero, PERO AHORA QUIERO TODOS LOS DEMÁS. Oh ño, Audible solo me da un crédito por mes, jajajaja.

EDIT: Olvídenlo, Goodreads dice que son 130+ LIBROS DE ESTA SERIE. Me conformaré con los 5 que Elle Fanning narró, jajaja.
Profile Image for Jenna Hager.
Author 8 books35k followers
June 7, 2021
I can’t even tell you what the series, "The Baby-Sitters Club" by Ann M. Martin has meant to me. They were the first series of books that my sister, Barbara, and I read compulsively. I remember I was kind of a chubby third-grader and nobody was interested in me but these books taught me about romance, friendship, divorce and how girls can be empowered to create whatever it is they want to create.
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2022
This is a middle grade book, and this is the first book in the Baby-Sitters Club series. 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. This one follows Kristy as she comes up with the idea behind the Baby-Sitters Club. I really enjoyed this one. 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 will say this series was written in the 1990's so there is things that 2020's kids will not really get. An example of this is that a kid having their own house phone most not the normally in 1990's, but now a lot of kids has their own cell phones and no one really has house phones now.
Profile Image for amandalee.
108 reviews34 followers
January 9, 2008
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 played dorm room (I know, what weird, nerdy kids we were). Looking back, I realize that these novels were terribly written. However, they illustrated to a young and somewhat impressionable child that it was okay to be any type of girl one wanted to be (sporty, into fashion, about saving the earth, etc.) and the members of the BSC entertained me for hours on end.

**Note: The BSC novels are ranked five stars simply to emphasize the many hours of reading bliss and entertainment they provided, and should not be misinterpreted as a reflection of their literary value.
Profile Image for Jenna.
Author 4 books773 followers
February 20, 2018
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 hinges on the use of landlines), I was surprised by how much I still enjoyed the book – and especially how much I enjoyed the character of Kristy.

I was never really a Kristy girl. I had little in common with the outgoing, sporty, boy-hating president of the BSC. Her big mouth and bossiness annoyed me at times. But as an adult I've got to say I actually loved those things about her. From the very first line of the book, she hooked me: "The Baby-sitters Club. I'm proud to say it was totally my idea." That line feels audacious in a way it probably shouldn't. I mean, we're still having conversations about how female protagonists are frequently criticised for being "unlikeable", yet here is Kristy Thomas, bragging about her intelligence from the first page, and being lectured by her teacher for lacking decorum on the second, and not really giving a fuck about any of it, except that it means she has extra homework. She's a 12-year-old girl who doesn't care what others think, who speaks her mind, who not only comes up with brilliant ideas but puts them into action, who makes mistakes and is sometimes rude and messy but tries to learn and grow. What a gift of a character – even if I didn't fully appreciate her when I was young.

I also loved that there was space for Kristy's complex feelings about her family and friendships. I got the feeling that The Baby-sitters Club was as much a desperate attempt to keep her changing friendship group from splintering as it was about trying to make money or solve her mum's problem of not being able to find a sitter. So yeah, I may have gotten a little emotional at the last line: "I hoped that Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and I – The Baby-sitters Club – would stay together for a long time." BECAUSE THEY DID, YOU GUYS. THEY DID.

Anyway, I didn't expect to get so soppy about this book, so let me quickly sum up some other random observations I had while reading:

• This very much feels like an origin story where the characters we know and love are yet to reach their most well-known forms. Like, Kristy never once wears jeans and a turtleneck! She wears skirts and blouses with knee-high socks (oh my!).

• Speaking of clothes, there were 4 detailed outfit descriptions (two Claudia, two Stacey), and they were all as delightfully bonkers as I remember. My favourite is Claudia's, when she wears "a baggy yellow-and-black checked shirt, black pants, red jazz shoes, and a bracelet that looked like it was made from telephone cord. Her earrings were dangling jointed skeletons."

• Also at one point Claudia tells Kristy she still dresses like a baby, and when Kristy points out Claudia is wearing sheep barrettes, this happens: "'Sheep,' Claudia informed me witheringly, 'are in.'" Incredible.

• On the subject of Claudia and Kristy, a big undercurrent of the book, as I mentioned above, is the growing divide between them, best summed up in this amazing description of Claudia: "She's wearing a bra, and the way she talks, you'd think boys had just been invented." There are several mentions of Claudia's obsession with boys, and Kristy's utter lack of interest in them, meanwhile Kristy tells Claudia she’s beautiful. And on one hand this is all a very normal part of growing up and people developing at different stages and in different ways, and on the other hand I think we can all agree Kristy DEFINITELY has a secret crush on Claudia.

• Even though this is a Kristy book, I love that all the girls go on their own journeys, and by the end Mary Anne is standing up to her dad, Claudia is negotiating time spent on art vs homework with her parents, and Stacey tells the other girls about her diabetes (which leads to a really nice moment where Kristy tells her she has nothing to be ashamed of).

• I totally shipped Stacey and Kristy’s brother, Sam, when I was young, and I still do tbh. I mean, Sam thinks Stacey is a “foxy chick” and she thinks he’s a “gorgeous hunk”. It’s obviously meant to be. Even Kristy thinks so – she has the “BSC is a success” slumber party at her house party so Stacey can see Sam again. Nothing but respect for MY president.

• I feel VERY OLD saying this but I was shook that Stacey, at age 12, is allowed out until 10pm on weekends, and David Michael, age 6, walks home from school by himself and has his own house key. Don’t even get me started on 12-year-olds being left alone to care for small children/going to houses of families they don’t know. At one point, when Kristy shows up at a house and there are no kids around, even SHE begins to think she might get murdered. It turns out that she’s there to care for two dogs, but it COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE and it feels like this prospect is just never addressed again (I guess, as the series goes on, they actually know all the families, BUT STILL).

• BTW the fact that Kristy bans pet-sitting after the dog job was perhaps her worst idea (excepting the one in book 100, Kristy’s Worst Idea) because it’s an easy way they all could have made more money.

• Speaking of dogs, Louie the collie made me weirdly emotional, I vaguely remember that he dies at one point and I'm not ready for it (should I continue rereading this series? Is that ridiculous? Do I care?).

• I got to the end of the book and discovered I’d filled in the notebook pages using my squiggle pen at age 11. Highlights include me believing I was most like Claudia (wishful thinking), and saying that if I ever wrote a BSC book it would be about “boys” (I was as boy-crazy as Stacey...and still am tbh). Also the fact that I wanted to start my own club called the “Pre-teen Sensations”, where we’d have no officers and no meetings, but a lot of fun.

• Of course, the character I am really most like is Boo Boo. The fat, cursed attack cat, who looks like “a pillow with legs attached” and doesn’t like to be touched by strangers. A legend.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,818 reviews494 followers
October 16, 2018
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 Stacey McGill are the four founding members of the club living in Stoneybrook Connecticut.

Kristy is a tomboy with two older brothers, Charlie and Sam, and one younger brother, David Michael. The four are being raised by their mother, their father is in California and rarely contacts his children. Kristy deals with her mother dating Watson, also divorced and father of his own two precocious children o -Karen( 5) and Andrew(3). Kristy is as bossy as I remember, but my brother would probably make a joke about how I was bossy too( leadership skills, bro!)

Claudia lives with her mother and father, genius older sister, Janine, and their much beloved Grandmother Mimi. Both sets of Claudia 's grandparents immigrated to the United States from Japan. As an aside, it's something I notice now that I didn't when I was a kid, but in the first number of books, an Asian model is not used to depict Claudia.

Mary Ann is an only child who lives with her widowed father. Her mother died of cancer when she was very young. A sheltered girl, Kristy feels superprotective of her best friend and she and Mary Ann are fiercely loyal friends. Mary Ann's stories were always a joy for me too!

Stacey( perhaps my favorite character in the books) is newly arrived with her parents from the Big Apple. Quickly, Stacey and Claudia are on their way to becoming fast friends. But Stacey remains secretive and Kristy is dying to know.

These books are so ingrained in shaping me as a reader that their appeal hasn't changed over time.
Profile Image for Rhiannon.
61 reviews39 followers
July 8, 2011
"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:
Nope

How many times was the word "incredulously" used:
Twice

What Would Claudia Wear:
-Short, very baggy lavender plaid overalls, a white lacy blouse, a black fedora, red high-top sneakers with no socks

-A baggy yellow and black checked shirt, black pants, red jazz shoes, a bracelet that looked like a telephone cord, and dangling, jointed skeleton earrings

-An outrageous red felt hat

What About Stacey?
-Stacey was wearing a pink sweatshirt with sequins and a large purple parrot on the front, short, tight-fitting jeans with zippers up the outsides of the legs, and pink plastic shoes.

-A matching top and skirt made out of gray sweatshirt material with big, yellow number tens all over it, hair clips shaped like rainbows, and little silver whistles dangling from her ears

-Red plaid wool pants with red suspenders (What the f*ck is it with
these girls and suspenders?
)

Quit letting 12-Year Olds Watch Your Goddamn Kids
"Oh my gosh," I cried. "I forgot! It's Tuesday...Tuesday is my day to
watch David Michael. I'm supposed to beat him home. Otherwise, he gets
home first and has to watch himself." David Michael is my 6-year old brother.

"So, what about this baby-sitting club?" "Well, I replied..." [After much discussion and negligence] We were interrupted by a thump and a wail. Jamie had fallen off one of the swings.

Awwwwwwwwwkward
"Are your parents divorced, too?" I asked.
"Nope. They've been married for fifteen years."
"Mine have been married for twenty."
"My mother died when I was a baby," said Mary Anne quietly. "She had cancer."
Stacey looked embarrassed. "Well, I really better go..."

Bitch!
"I'm sorry, Watson." I mumbled. I walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs. When I was halfway up, I yelled over my shoulder, "I'm sorry you're a terrible father!"

"Really, Kristy! A sweater with snowflakes and snowmen on it? You look like a four year old."
"Well, you've got sheep barrettes in your hair!" I yelled. "You think
they're adult?"
"Sheep," Claudia informed me witheringly. "are in."

"Are you accusing my mother of lying?" Stacey cried.
I thought for a moment. "I guess so."

Srsly. Ew!
[Over fondue], Watson made this rule that if your bread fell off your fork and landed in the cheese, you had to kiss the person sitting on your right...And then, it happened. I was just sticking my fork into the pot when my bread fell off and landed in the cheese. Guess who was on my right? Watson.
"Kiss daddy, kiss daddy!" cried Karen.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,039 reviews348 followers
May 12, 2020
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, where we see Kristy come up with her 'big idea' for the club. Taking phone calls in Claudia's room a couple of times a week for half an hour. As an adult with children I really needed to suspend my cynical disbelief - I'm never going to trust a 12 year old I haven't met with my children (my kids would eat them alive). And I wouldn't call a phone line where you can contact the sitters for half an hour every few days accessible, but you know... as a kid I ate this shit up.

I still hate Karen though. Precocious is an understatement and I feel deeply sorry for her next door neighbour. Also, not sure why Kristy turned down a regular job looking after a rich woman's two dogs. Way easier to deal with than kids. Expand your business Kristy! Think of the possibilities!

Fond memories and 80s/90s realness. I love it.
Profile Image for Tara.
348 reviews19 followers
January 13, 2023
The one where Kristy learns all about the word decorum. I mean, yeah, some other stuff definitely happens too (awesome babysitting clubs are created, likable/relatable main characters are introduced, etc.), but as a kid, for some reason I always thought of this as The Decorum One, and I’m too old and set in my ways to change that now.

Seriously though, this was a really cute start to one of my favorite childhood series, and I’m looking forward to revisiting more of these books very soon!
September 15, 2019
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 existed. Who knew I could get through children/ middle grade books without wanting to vomit. Or falling asleep!

I think this is a cute series, with interesting enough characters who would appeal to their age group. The books are not boring, and you can find fun adventures within its pages.
What I like most about them though, is how real the characters are. I find it beautiful how they could be any of us as a child. I mean, we've all been there with those thoughts and actions. Not me though! I didn't like to spend time with children even as a kid!

So yeah, the books are good enough. And they feel so much like another decade and that's just so fun for me to read.
Profile Image for Mike Lawson.
Author 3 books8 followers
September 24, 2010
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 Baby-Sitters Union…only they call it a “club.” They come together for pointless meetings, vote on matters, and collectively bargain for prices and advertising space.

It was pretty obvious to me why these books were popular. They had everything a young-adult wants to see in a book: kids making money without relying on their parents, Kristy’s hate for her mother’s fiance, Stacey’s eating-disorder-that-turns-out-to-be-diabetes, Claudia and her frustrating older sister, Mary Anne’s over-protective father.

It was obvious from this first book that this is a series that many great kid’s series used as the prototype.

If I was going to complain about something, I might point out how each of these girls is a walking character-type, but I’ll see how that unfolds in the next 9 books (I’ve made a commitment to read the first ten in the series).

It feels really great to look at a book series like this one that brought my older sister so much joy and to finally be able to get excited about these books publicly. The Corey Haim fascination I secretly shared with her 20 years ago, however, will never be acted upon.
Profile Image for Lauren R..
57 reviews4 followers
November 14, 2007
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.
November 19, 2019
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 plot, and the sweet characters, and it also reminded me of just how much I wanted to start a babysitting club when I was a teen. I can't wait to move on to the next book, now!
Profile Image for Dray.
400 reviews5 followers
September 18, 2009
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 favorites and I tried on several occasions to get my other 7-10 year old friends to set up a BSC. It was never successful...probably since 7-10 year olds have zero babysitting qualifications. Nevertheless, I read these books constantly, which meant at least that I was reading constantly. I have no doubt they sparked my interest in more books, and then more books until I became the literary scholar I so clearly am today. ha.
Profile Image for Christy.
622 reviews
July 27, 2020
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 in the series, I do remember some things about the characters. I enjoyed this re-read for sure!
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,103 reviews1,322 followers
May 13, 2022
I haven't read this book since I was a tween and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is just as good as I remember! I was obsessed with the BSC for years as a young reader and apparently I had good taste. I love the characters. Kristy's voice is very clear, her "trouble making" and complicated feelings about Watson, her mom's new boyfriend. There's a realistic friend fight (and make up).

There's a scene where Kristy's new babysitting charges end up being two Saint Bernards named Buffy and Minky, one of which runs right over her in the backyard and I could not stop laughing. ("You really haven't lived until a dog has stepped on your face", Kristy notes). Killer line when Kristy criticizes Claudia's sheep earrings and Claudia retorts: "Sheep are in."

Also Kristy thinks boys are gross, lots of evidence for her future gayness here.
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews800 followers
November 29, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,204 followers
Read
July 14, 2019
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."
Profile Image for Scott.
676 reviews81 followers
January 25, 2019
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 highest point in town -- to chill out and connect. They sang songs I had never heard of, and I wondered how they could all possibly know the words to things that were not on the radio all the time. They smoked pot. I did not want to smoke pot, so I ate miniature boxes of Froot Loops until I was dizzy enough to contentedly croon "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and feel like I was Experiencing Something.

The next week I was willing to smoke pot. I did it exactly once, directly before a Ravi Shankar concert, which became arguably the most transformative performance I saw in the four years of my music school career.

By the week after that, I had been ditched on my birthday by my boyfriend of two weeks who got high and forgot to meet me. He was so laden with guilt by the situation that he checked out of the dorm and into rehab. I had also started classes and rehearsals and practicing schedules and otherwise spent all my time doing what I actually came to college to do.

One day I randomly joined a pianist for a snack at the student union where we were joined by the lost-looking girl with the trumpet who asked me for directions my first day on campus. They dressed more like me and came from similar backgrounds to me and -- wonders behold! -- had interests in common with me. They became part of my actual group of best friends, and I never smoked pot or ate Froot Loops or sang war songs again. (Not... ever...)

What does this have to do with the Baby-Sitters Club? Almost nothing. Here are two things about the Baby-Sitters Club:

1. I loved this first book more than any 30-something year old man should, but I'm also gay and I feel like that pretty much explains it. I thought it was so relatable and sweet and rooted in its time that I decided it was time for me to go on another Journey. It's 2019, and I'm gonna read some Baby-Sitters Club. And I'm going to tell you about it because that's what you're here for. You love the Baby-Sitters Club.

2. Claudia is my new best friend. I don't like Kristy. Does anybody? I respect her enterprising spirit, but I don't want to ever be around her. Maybe I will like her now that she's learned not to be such a dick to her mom's boyfriend. Stacey is basically the girl I wished I was in junior high but with diabetes. There is potential there. Mary Anne is human drywall.

These are my feelings. But it's Orientation Week, and you find your real best friends when you forget to transform yourself and just let life take its course. When Kristy had her great idea, she had no clue it would bring Stacey into her life or help her come to grips with her mom's relationship.

Claudia might be my Ravi Shankar buddy with whom I dissociate entirely. Mary Anne might be my lost-looking trumpet girl and constant companion for years to come. Who knows how things will settle? Classes begin next week.

**********
Homework: Are you a Stacey, a Mary Anne, a Kristy, or a Claudia?

(I am a Morbidda Destiny because that is gay culture.)

#2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls >>
Profile Image for Sarah DiMento.
187 reviews523 followers
Read
February 21, 2017
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??
Profile Image for Jessica.
593 reviews3,394 followers
Read
November 13, 2007
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 things I'm embarrassed to have liked as much as I once did. But I did like them, in fact, I loved them, and the fun thing about this series is that they were a fad in the fourth grade, which added a social element to the otherwise solitary experience of reading.... kind of like Bookface for the late eighties! Anyway, the best thing about these books was that Dawn was the coolest, and a vegetarian, and from California (I'm from California! I'm a vegetarian!). The other best thing was that Jessie was also the coolest (I'm named Jessie! [well, kind of]), because she was black, but she didn't show up until halfway through the series, probably after some distraught black kid in suburban CT's mother wrote some stern letters, and she never really did much anyway. The worst thing was that Mary-Ann was a pathetic, boring priss, Kristy was a boring soccer dyke who never so much as peeked out of the closet, and Claudia was borderline mentally-retarded, and taught kids it was okay not to be able to spell as long as you had craaaaaaazy earrings and beautiful Asian American features, including long shiny hair down to her butt and beautiful almond-shaped eyes. Am I remembering that wrong? I hope not, that'd be a weird thing to make up.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
577 reviews76 followers
November 4, 2015
Puntje 17 van de Verbeelding Book Challenge: "Een boek lezen waar je gek van was als kind". De babysittersclub. Ayup. Ik denk dat ik bijna alle boeken van de Babysittersclub reeks heb gelezen, back in the day, en het was fijn om even terug te keren naar die personages. Maar het boek als volwassene lezen is toch helemaal anders dan het boek als negen of tien-jarige lezen.
Profile Image for Kirsty Carson.
187 reviews30 followers
July 20, 2022
Kristy’s Great Idea!

I read these books when I was growing up and I absolutely adored them. Deciding to read them again in my 30s I was worried that they would let me down… but they didn’t. I absolutely adored this first instalment of The Babysitter’s Club and the absolute nostalgia feels I got making my way through it were even better!!! I love how timeless this story is and the issues that Martin addresses are as relevant to young girls today as they were all those years ago!

Can’t wait to get stuck into the next book of the series!
Profile Image for Oceana.
591 reviews728 followers
March 2, 2022
This totally holds up in my opinion.
I loved it as a little girl, and I still enjoy it as an adult woman.
It was really fun to revisit my favourite characters from childhood.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,700 reviews41 followers
June 18, 2008
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 alarming rate. I think what kept me reading was the comfort I found in the simplicity, predictability, and ease of the novels. The faces lining the halls of Totem Junior High were less than welcoming and The Baby-sitter's Club series served as some sort of balm, a salve against the onslaught of teen angst (oh, so dramatic!) Just as in my earlier days I had longed to live with the Bradys or the Ingalls so too did I long to join the ranks of Kristy's baby-sitter's club, to have problems that I knew would be quickly resolved and all would be right with the world (at least until the next installment in the series.)

As a teacher these are on my recommended reading list. Particularly for struggling readers I believe the predictable and repetitious nature combined with the less than demanding vocabulary can serve as a bridge to more expansive literature. The easy reading may inspire confidence in the reluctant reader. If the reader enjoys the book she (I may be sexist but I really can't imagine a boy having an affinity for these books) is likely to return for more books in the series thereby getting more practice which in turn strengthens the reading muscle, making her more limber when she moves on to more complex reading.
Profile Image for Sarah.
62 reviews16 followers
July 7, 2017
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.

2.5/5.
(my ten year old self would've given it a 5/5)
Profile Image for aarya.
1,152 reviews
August 22, 2022
3.5 stars.

Never read these books as a kid, so it was fascinating to listen to the Elle Fanning narration. I’m now extra impressed with the Netflix show; they did a great job with staying faithful to the spirit of the source material despite the 2020 setting. Read via audio (narrated by Elle Fanning).
Profile Image for Audrey.
999 reviews152 followers
August 7, 2022
When I was a young reader, we didn’t have tons of reading options. This series was one of the ones available, and everybody was reading them except me. I was searching out fantasy and sci fi instead, I think.

It’s a cute story and I read it in the same day I drove six hours on a road trip. (I can’t read in cars.) So it’s quick. Four girls set up a club to coordinate baby-sitting jobs. I admire their initiative. The book follows several adventures in baby-sitting (none as dramatic as the movie).

One girl has a super genius/pretentious sister who keeps correcting their grammar, but she’s usually wrong in her pronouncements. A linguist would shred this girl.

Language: Clean
Sexual Content: None
Violence: None
Harm to Animals:
Harm to Children:
Other (Triggers):
Profile Image for lottareadsbooks.
251 reviews87 followers
July 20, 2020
Siis ihan harmittaa etten lukenut näitä nuorena, olisin tykännyt NIIN paljon.
Mutta jäin koukkuun ja haluan lukea lisää :D Ja Netflixin sarjaakin ehdin katsoa jo 5 jaksoa ja sillekin suositus!
Vähän menee vain nimissä sekaisin kun tähän suomennokseen on jostain kummallisesta syystä vaihdettu päähenkilöiden nimet. Ymmärtäisin jos nimet olisi vaihdettu suomalaisiin nimiin, mutta ei???
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