The Baby-Sitters Club: The Summer Before
By Ann M. Martin
2010, Scholastic, 224 pages
“Say hello to your friends…Baby-Sitters Club…” Classic!
When I was 7, a little too young for the Baby-Sitters Club books my sister was reading, my mom bought me my first Baby-Sitters Club LITTLE SISTER book. Oh, thank goodness for Karen! She understood what it was like to not be allowed to do half of the things her older stepsister, Kristy, was allowed to do, her books were in a bigger font and she didn’t care a bit about boys. She just wanted to baby-sit. I was in heaven.
So when a co-worker offered to lend me The Baby-Sitters Club: The Summer Before, the brand-new prequel to the classic books, I grabbed it from her and read it overnight. Is it a little basic for anyone older than 13? Of course. Is it still worth reading? Definitely. If you were a Baby-Sitters Club fan as a kid, this is the perfect bit of nostalgia. I was shocked how much I still remembered about Stoneybrook, Connecticut, including details about Kristy’s stepdad (Watson) to the names of most of Mallory Pike’s 5 zillion siblings.
For those who are actually 13 or younger, this prequel is the perfect introduction to a series that stands the test of time. During the summer between ages 11 and 12, Kristy is struggling to accept her mom’s new boyfriend, Mary Anne doesn’t understand why her friends are suddenly becoming interested in boys (eww), Claudia gets involved with an older man (he’s 14! shocking!), and Stacey gets to escape some bullying girls as she moves away from New York City.
The best lesson of the book is that everyone ages at a different rate and these differences can actually bring you and your friends closer together. A perfect read for the later elementary school ages who are about to go through these changes!
PS: Logan is still my fave. Sigh.