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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

I’m thrilled that this is BSC Week!  I’m a huge fan of The Baby-Sitters Club and am still collecting the series.  I’ve reviewed the graphic novels and interviewed the author and I made the prequel my Waiting On Wednesday. So of course, I had to participate.

First off, a break-down of my BSC collection to show my obsession love! I would’ve posted pictures of all the books, but really, that’s overkill and they’re packed up.

claudia

Claudia doll..not very styling, is she?

100+ of the regular series (not quite done collecting!)
All the Super Specials and Super Mystery
All but 2 of the Mystery
BSC movie novelization
The California Diaries collection
All the portrait books
Both “reader request” special editions
BSC guide to Stoneybrook
Friends Forever series
The BSC graphix! novels
Ann Martin’s biography (plus assorted non-BSC books of hers)
4 videos
The Baby-Sitters Club movie
Baby-Sitters Club CD: Songs for My Best Friends

bscpin

The worst picture of a Baby-Sitters Club pin ever

Baby-Sitters Club movie soundtrack
All 13 TV show episodes on DVD (no, they aren’t available on DVD, I made them myself!)
CD-Rom game
1 pin with the girls’ signatures
BSC door hanger
Claudia doll w/ Jenny
Stacey doll w/ Charlotte Johansen

Notice? ZERO Little Sister.  I never could get into the antics of Karen Brewer.

Where do I start?  I’ve been reading the BSC since I was about 8. Now that I’m 27, I still read them occasionally, but in a whole new light. For one, I can appreciate the ingenuity of the girls.  Who among us didn’t want to start a baby-sitters club after reading them? And the way they dealt with “sensitive subjects” with (as I said in a review of the BSC graphix! novels) “without the saccharine taste of an afterschool special.”

My favorite character was Mary Anne, but I related to Stacey because I was the child of a divorced home. I wished I had the fashion sense of Claudia as well as the art talent. I imagined myself like Mallory because of her adoration of horses, and I suppose Jessi as well.  Dawn was just the coolest thing ever – she was going green before everybody else, and her long white hair and California-ness, yeah it made this little Florida girl seethe in envy.

Why do we love them so much? Well, face it, they have a lot of fun. They’re a band of girls that are there for each other – there’s nothing in school like there is today. They live in a world devoid of Myspace and texting. There’s no real “mean girls” except for Cokie, who is about as mean as a Chihuahua. Sometimes, their only worry is why they ran out of Tootsie Rolls at the last meeting. They do EVERYTHING. They went to London, Hawaii (no, let’s not mention the implausibility of an entire school going to Hawaii), Disney World and toured the USA. They went skiing and got snowed in (remember when Stacey and her mom stopped in at a strangers’ house? You won’t see that in kids’ books nowdays!). They found a Georgia O’Keefe drawing (thanks BSC for teaching me about artists besides Picasso and Van Gogh). They experienced cheating scandals and abandoned babies and bad jokes and counterfeiting and the Walking Disaster. They made up new words – dibble, dibbly fresh (but NOT gigundonly, Karen).

They were, in short, AWESOME. They still are.

I remember borrowing a tape of “Claudia and the Hidden Jewels” to watch from a friend, because we didn’t get the channel carrying the show’s epic 13 episode run, and being SO heartbroken when I had to give it back. (See..back in the 90s, we had these things called VHS..). The episode isn’t one of my favorites, but it’s still fun: Claudia’s jewelry is missing and the BSC are on the case (they were on the case a lot, right? They solved more mysteries than Columbo). Spoiler: Karen took them. It was always Karen.

I wrote to Ann Martin when I was young, and I got so excited when I got a reply back… a form letter. My heart was crushed!  Here I’d shared my writing aspirations with one of my favorite writers of all time and..   I’m over it now, obviously, but still, sad, right?

One Christmas I got a BSC booklight from the Sears Wish Book.  I read so many books with that thing until it eventually broke.

I must’ve read Baby-Sitters on Board! fifteen times after I got it.  I’d never been to Disney World prior to reading it, and so when I went to Disney World, I had to see the BSC vision one more time. It was just as fun as they described it!

And a final confession: I may have lately said “I don’t mind living in Connecticut and working in NYC, I can commute. Stacey’s mom did it!” a few times recently, on my impending job search.

And that statement illustrates that the BSC has forever made an impression on me. Forever, and always.. say hello to your friends.

A great big thanks to My Friend Amy for creating BSC Week!  It’d be cool to read your memories in the comments! Excuse me, dibble.

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