In honor of the new Netflix series, BEHOLD the ultimate nostalgic tribute to "The Baby-Sitters Club" from one very mega fan.
"The Baby-Sitters Club" books changed my life! How do I love them? Let me count the ways ... Growing up pre-internet, they were my escape and the girls were my role models and my friends within the pages. Whenever I got grounded, I was actually happy to sit in my room and read about the fun escapades of the hundreds of books in the "BSC" middle-grade series.
I think an excited Natalie Portman said it best when she said:
"I feel so lucky that I grew up with books about girls who worked together, supported each other, were entrepreneurs, and who all had very different personalities."-Natalie Portman
They were "girl bosses" before the term was coined, and they often dealt with diverse life issues beyond chasing boys, all while running a mini-empire and attending school.
I still remember my mom dropping me off at the bookstore, and I would catch up on "The Baby-Sitters Club" books for hours until she came back and picked me up.
And, other times, she would bring home a new one for me, and shortly thereafter say, "Why don't you go read your new book? I would respond, "I already did!"
These are quite simply some of the fondest memories of childhood for me, and I know that they can be for you and the young ladies in your lives as well.
Netflix Show: "The Baby-Sitters Club"
The Netflix show "The Baby-Sitters Club" debuted on July 3, 2020. Below is the official trailer, giving this beloved classic new, modern life:
"The Baby-Sitters Club" books are a series of 213 books about a group of Connecticut teen girls running a babysitting club and dealing with friendship and other major life issues (dating, divorce, medical issues, moving) at the same time. Ann M. Martin wrote the first 36 books (and 60 - 80 books total -- the rest were ghostwritten -- GASP!) between 1986 and 2000. They sold over 176 million copies. (Source)
If you are doing a 50 States of America reading challenge, these books are ideal for Connecticut.
The main series inspired several spinoffs and extras:
The Super Special jumbo books featuring plots like Summer and Winter vacations:
The Mystery books, featuring plots like mysteries at the mall and a haunted mansion:
The Little Sister spinoff series featuring Kristy's step-sister Karen for the younger ladies:
*NEW* Audible Books
You can now listen to some of the new recordings of "The Baby-Sitters Club" series on Audible, narrated by Elle Fanning.
Articles / Interviews with Ann M. Martin
Below are some of my favorite nostalgic articles about "The Baby-Sitters Club" and interviews with author Ann M. Martin:
- "Today" show: "'The Baby-Sitters Club' turns 30! Author Ann M. Martin answer BSC burning questions"
- "Today" show: "Ann M. Martin on where ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ members would be now"
- Entertainment Weekly: "A Night with the Creator of The Baby-Sitters Club, Ann M. Martin"
- The New Yorker: "The Feminist Legacy of "The Baby-Sitter's Club."
- PopSugar: "The 10 Best Baby-Sitters Club Books of All Time, Ranked"
- The New York Times: "The Baby-Sitters Club Taught Me Everything I Needed to Know About Literary Fiction"
Characters in The Baby-Sitters Club
Let's take a look back at some of the most beloved characters and members of "The Baby-Sitters Club":
- Kristy Thomas: founder and president. A sometimes bossy brunette leader with tomboyish sensibilities.
- Claudia Kishi: vice-president. A creative artist and junk food lover with the most trendy wardrobe and Asian background.
- Mary Anne Spier: secretary. A quiet and shy, but loyal and stable friend with introverted hobbies and classic style matching her brunette hair and braids.
- Stacey McGill: treasurer. A popular curly-haired blonde "mathlete" dealing with diabetes.
- Dawn Schafer: alternate officer. A blonde, tree-hugging, environmentally friendly former Californian, who becomes Mary Ann's step-sister.
- Mallory Pike: junior officer. A writer and oldest sister of a large family known for her red hair, braces and glasses.
- Jessi Ramsey: junior officer. A dedicated ballerina and a reliable friend, sometimes dealing with racism as a Black girl in her new Connecticut neighborhood.
- Logan Bruno: associate member. A sports lover and Mary Anne's sweet, Southern boyfriend, originally from Kentucky.
Take a Quiz: Which baby-sitter are you?
For the record, I'd say I'm mostly a Mary Anne (introverted brunette with classic style), with a small bit of Kristy (I'm a lawyer by day) and a dash of Dawn (I'm into veganism) mixed in.
And the realistic front cover illustrations made me feel like I knew each one of them and was a member of the club myself at a time in a child's life when you may feel like you don't totally fit in or understand the world.
Which Baby-Sitters Club member are you? Take a quiz!:
Outfits from the Cover Art of The Baby-Sitters Club
Can we talk about the amazing cover art for "The Baby-Sitters Club" books?! I didn't have the internet growing up, so the illustrated cover art featuring realistic renderings of the babysitters were the O.G. style influencers for me. I used to study them and decide what outfits I liked most to define my own young style.
Refinery 29 did an absolutely next level job of re-creating modern outfits inspired by the cover art.
And Buzzfeed brilliantly ranked ALL of the cover art by outfits. Below are my personal favorites:
Kristy and the Sister War
Kristy's navy turtleneck, jeans and casual sneakers feel directly pulled from my own closet. She's got a preppy New England style that is simple but still holds true today. Meet you at J.Crew, Kristy?!
While Mallory may be the baby-sitter least known for her style, red stripes are jeans are likewise so New England Americana, and they never went out of style. I would wear this any day today!
Stacey McGill, Super Sitter
I'm loving Stacey's preppy loafers here and, although I do wear loafers, I'd say they are comparable to a good mule today. While she can't go wrong with jeans and a pink top, it's the cute apron that takes her outfit to the next level on this cover.
I adore the outfits on this cover -- I think it perfectly captures the time and the unique style of all five ladies while still maintaining a very Connecticut sensibility. If I could only pick one favorite, I'm really liking Stacey's color combo here and would wear those gem tones all Winter long!
Mary Anne vs. Logan
Mary Anne hits her style peak on this cover. Is it Winter in Stoneybrook ... OR PARIS?!?! Despite being very basic and understated in most of her style choices, she's here to make Logan drool in this cover, as the perfectly pink snow bunny. Someone get her a hot chocolate!
Dawn's Big Move
This is another cover where the illustrator just nailed the individualist looks of all five baby-sitters on the cover. I remember being actually jealous of Claudia's floral top. But, really, who wouldn't be?! She was a style icon then, and she would still be one in that outfit now.
Keep Out, Claudia
Last, but not least, is, in my opinion, the best cover art outfit. Of course, it's Claudia! She was always defying the classic style notions of Connecticut and branching into the future. I would have dubbed myself the coolest girl in school if I had an outfit that trendy at her age, and I love that she wore it babysitting -- where I generally wore sweats. Claudia has always been that much better than all of us when it comes to fashion.
Movie: "The Baby-Sitters Club"
The 1995 movie was the highlight of my Summer going into 8th grade. I even got my hair cut just like Mary Anne after seeing the movie (I told you I'm a Mary Anne!).
It starred Schuyler Fisk, Rachael Leigh Cook (of "She's All That" fame), Larisa Oleynik, Bre Blair, Tricia Joe, Zelda Harris, and Stacy Linn Ramsower, as well as a few other famous faces. The plot basically centered around the Baby-Sitters Club hosting a Summer camp for their clients, with some added personal drama for the girls along the way.
Watch the trailer below:
1990 TV Show: "The Baby-Sitters Club"
HBO aired a 1990 tv show called "The Baby-Sitters Club." Growing up middle class in Scranton, Pennsylvania, we certainly weren't allowed to have HBO, but we were allowed to purchase the VHS copies of the episodes, which we re-watched again and again, and which were so very 90s cheese.
Our favorite was the Christmas episode where the girls shop for Secret Santa at the mall and have a festive party for children in the hospital.
And once you hear that theme song you will never be able to get it out of your head: "Say hello to your friends -- Baby-Sitters Club! Say hello to the people who care. Nothing's better than friends ..."
I recently re-watched some episodes on YouTube and was shocked by how many lines I still remembered. I texted my sister and she confessed to having recently watched them on YouTube as well.
Below is my favorite episode:
The Baby-Sitters Club Club podcast is a really fun podcast in which the hosts read and recap the books, injecting some humor and nostalgia along the way. It's a great listen for mega fans. I only wish I had thought of the idea first -- talk about a dream job!
The SSR Podcast hosted by my fellow Philly book-loving friend Alli also dives deep into the books on several fun episodes with great guests:
- Kristy's Great Idea
- Super Special #4: Baby-Sitters Island Adventure
- Claudia and the Sad Goodbye
- Super Special #7: Snowbound
- Super Special #6: New York, New York!
- Little Sister #1: Karen's Witch
- Logan Likes Mary Anne!
- Mystery #11: Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum
The Baby-Sitters Club Merchandise
I also recently found the Etsy shop Magic Unique Treasures, owned by a fellow BSC lover. They have the most nostalgia-inducing Baby-Sitters Club items, like a Claudia-inspired GIFT BASKET!
That concludes the ultimate tribute to "The Baby-Sitters Club." Pin this post to Pinterest because you can share the love and refer back to this post again when you are feeling nostalgic!