If you’re, say, mid-twenties or older and female, chances are you’ve read at least one Ann M. Martin book. Martin, of course, is the author of the The Baby-Sitter’s Club, the series about a gang of entrepreneurial 13-year-olds that taught girls everywhere the basics of capitalism. Now, in what may be filed thus far in “Best News of the Decade,” Scholastic is re-issuing the first two books in the out-of-print, 213-title series (213? whoa!) as well as a prequel.
Outdated uncool references to perms and cassette players aside, I think the series, which was published in the mid-80s, is still relevant to today’s adolescent girl. The characters, all diverse and unique, struggle through emotional, family and friendship issues that transcend generations. I mean, who didn’t cry when Mimi died? And who among us hasn’t faced at least a snob or two in the daisy chain of angst that is middle school? The series is also pretty body-positive — the one time I recall dieting mentioned is when Stacey’s ex-best friend Laine visits and they all think it kind of dumb. The series is being revamped to appeal to younger generations — will Claudia get in trouble for Facebooking on the job? Will Mary Anne get caught texting to Logan in class? Let’s just hope that in bringing the series into the 21st century doesn’t go by way of the recently re-released Sweet Valley High series, which saw the “perfect size 6″ twins Elizabeth and Jessica downsized to a “perfect size 4″ and the insertion of such colloquialisms as “omigod.”
The BSC re-release is set for April. Until then, check out this LiveJournal page called “Stoneybrook High School” with character bios on everyone the babysitters go to school with, complete with their celebrity alter egos. Yep. Or refresh your adolescent memories with Raina Telgemeier’s BSC comic book adaptations. And finally, find out which babysitter you are with this handy dandy pop quiz. I always considered myself a kind of Mary Anne/Claudia hybrid: shy and bookish, but also artsy and creative. Who’s your favorite babysitter?