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Ann M. Martin picks her top 10 'Baby-sitters' books

What’s the secret to The Baby-sitters Club‘s phenomenal success? According to Scholastic editorial director David Levithan — who began working on the series as a 19-year-old Scholastic intern — it’s simple: “Girls have always connected with The Baby-sitters Club [because] they feel it’s real. It’s not amped up, action-packed drama or mythology or something that has no bearing on their lives,” he says. “And reading the books now, it’s amazing how relatable it all still is.”

Levithan is right. Any girl — any person, for that matter — can empathize with the struggles BSC members faced, from dealing with divorce to experiencing your first major crush. Relive all of middle-school’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs throughout the following pages, in which author Ann M. Martin selects her favorite titles from the 20 BSC books that are getting an electronic re-release in December. Martin has also added personal commentary about each of her picks, which are accompanied by their classic cover illustrations. You want side ponytails? We’ve got your side ponytails right here.

So, which books made the cut? Find out below!


Say hello to your friends! 'The Baby-sitters Club' gets an e-book rerelease -- EXCLUSIVE

This is so dibble, you guys.

Scholastic is announcing today that the first 20 books in the bestselling Baby-Sitters Club series will be rereleased in ebook form beginning Dec. 1. Each title will feature a classic cover illustration by Hodges Soileau, the artist who illustrated dozens of BSC novels. Additionally, the series’ Facebook page is debuting a new Facebook app, which will allow fans to preview new ebooks, see nostalgic memorabilia, and take quizzes — then retake those quizzes upon learning that the BSC member they’re most similar to is Mallory.


Bret Easton Ellis meets 'The Baby-Sitters Club': Sugar highs galore!

The-Babysitters-ClubImage Credit: Jeff BurtonWho would have thought that Bret Easton Ellis and The Baby-Sitters Club would go together like peanut butter and cocaine-fueled dissolution? Drew Grant of Crushable wrote a pretty impressive parody combining BEE and BSC into something approaching art. She nails the feel of Ellis’ long, stream-of-drug-addled-consciousness sentences, with Pixie Stix and the Beach Boys replacing the blow and snuff films. An excerpt:

“‘Sorry, I just want to make sure we’re um, all clear on who is going to baby-sitting David Michael tonight, because that should be, our top priority right?’ Now everyone was staring at me and I wish I had eaten lunch or at least some of those Jiff/Wonderbread peanut-butter sandwiches Mom made. There was still some organic Farmer’s Market celery stalks that were half-wilting with Hidden Valley in those new melamine plates in the middle of the room, but I was two seconds away from shaking Claudia down for some Snickers or something, or maybe just going to grab the Tylenol P.M. in the medicine closet and my hands were shaking and why was everyone just staring at me?”

Brilliant. It’s nice to see a literary mash-up that doesn’t involve vampires, zombies, or vampire zombies. I hope this trend continues. I can’t wait for the part where little Karen Brewer accidentally falls off the roof because Kristy was too high from Flintstones vitamins and cherry ICEE to notice. I wonder what other unexpected series/author pairings would work. Maybe Chuck Palahniuk’s The Boxcar Children? Michel Houellebecq’s The Hardy Boys? Charles Bukowski’s constantly inebriated Encyclopedia Brown? What do you think?

YA blogs: Where nostalgia and snark collide

baby-sitters-sweet-valleyThere’s something comforting about re-reading and reminiscing about books from your childhood, and that’s precisely what dozens of adult bloggers are currently doing. But they aren’t just fondly recalling Claudia Kishi’s wacky wardrobe or the schemes of Jessica Wakefield – they’re calling the characters (and authors) out for all of their inconsistencies and unrealistic depictions of teen life in a very loving form of snark.

Nikki Boisture started her blog, Are You There Youth? It’s Me, Nikki, in August 2008, after she was sent a link to a blog about the Baby-Sitters Club series and “was smitten with that immediately.” After discovering another blog on Sweet Valley High, she decided it was time to put together her own.


A night with the creator of the Baby-sitters Club, Ann M. Martin

The-Summer-BeforeIt’s not often that you get to encounter someone famous that you admired growing up, which is why it was such an honor for me to meet Ann M. Martin, author of the Baby-Sitters Club series, last night.

The Baby-Sitters Club was created 25 years ago, and spawned several spin-offs and sold millions of copies worldwide. The books were about friendship, growing up, and – of course – baby-sitting. Readers were first introduced to the original four BSC members (Kristy Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Stacey McGill and Mary Anne Spier) in Kristy’s Great Idea, and over the years the club expanded to include more sitters from diverse backgrounds – including a boy! READ FULL STORY

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