Let me tell you about my friend Riley. First thing you should know: it's totally her fault that right now you're looking at a picture of Kristy's Great Idea, the seminal classic that launched a series so infamous it is often spoken of in hushed and reverent tones. Yes, that's right. The Baby-Sitters Club series.
Riley and I share many obsessions: Suits, BookBub, puppies. But the obsession we probably spend the most time bonding over is our mutual love of children’s and YA lit. We both spend hours of our educator-lives talking about it. I write it. Riley reads it with a voracity that sometimes makes me wonder when she has time to eat. And we’re not picky: picture books, middle grade, YA every-genre-you-can-imagine. If it’s out there, one of us probably either has read it or wants to read it.
So when Riley sent me a link to The Baby Sitters Club Club podcast, it seemed immediately clear what she was going to suggest we do: re-read the series together while listening to the podcast for each book.
Yup. I was all over that idea like Claudia Kishi on a neon-colored fedora.
I don’t claim to be an expert on many things, but if there was one thing I knew during the course of my childhood, it was The Baby-Sitters Club series. I had the board game. The videos. (Little-known fact: there wasn’t just movies. There were also television-length episodes, which I owned on VHS.) I recently unearthed my collection of the first sixty-odd books, complete with Super Specials, whilst going through my parent’s attic. I made frequent Kid-Kits for the approximately zero baby-sitting jobs I was ever hired for. (Little-known fact: I sucked at baby-sitting. Kids made me nervous. But I sure did like reading about it.)
These are, truly, the books that made me a reader. Ann M. Martin was my gateway drug into much harder stuff: Morrison and Chaucer. Taking a trip down memory lane with my most beloved author of all time and her experiments with tween handwriting? I cannot wait.
And because it seems a given that Riley and I will spend a majority of this adventure texting each other back and forth with every weirdo thought we have while reading/listening, it only seems fair we share a window into our utterly bizarro book communications. So whenever we have a particularly fun or irreverent text convo about our BSC adventure, I’ll post it here for your book loving enjoyment. Consider this the birth of the Johanna and Riley Re-Read Stuff Sub-Blog.
(Are sub-blogs an actual thing? If not, I’d like credit for creating them.)
Feel free to follow along as we join the men (yes, you read that correctly: two dudes make this podcast) of The Baby-Sitters Club Club and text each other relentlessly about how many times Stacy’s blonde hair gets mentioned per book or why Kristy and Bart have such a hard time admitting their feelings for one another. I hear someone on the podcast has discovered themes of great religious significance in Dawn’s storyline. I anxiously await that revelation.
So here we go. Personally, I can’t wait for us to relive our childhoods while I try to figure out why I ever identified with Mary Anne.