If you’re around my age, you probably grew up reading The Baby Sitters Club books. If you’re from Connecticut, like I am, you may find when you travel to other countries they think that Connecticut isn’t a real state and is just the made up Stoneybrook, Connecticut where the stories were set. (I’ve started saying I’m from “near New York” since everyone seems to know where that is!) When I saw that there was a book devoted to essays of other women like me who grew up with these characters and that they also helped shaped them, I jumped at the chance to read it.
The foreword is by Mara Wilson – who you may know from Mrs. Doubtfire or Matilda, but also was a fan of the book series. Each essay or piece of artwork goes into a different aspect of the BSC – analyzing friendship culture, how showing the BSC members handwriting in the books (admittedly, one of my favorite parts and probably a small reason why I am so obsessed with fonts now) gave girls another way to relate to the characters, having Asian Americans like Claudia Kishi as a role model at a time when there was not a lot of representation for Asian Americans, especially not females, facing issues like pre-teen diabetes that Stacey McGill had to deal with throughout the series, teaching girls to “Be Bossy” and that it is not a negative thing (even though they are trying to phase out that word more recently), how there were stories about race and colorism with Jessi Ramsey and all of the families were different so that the readers would hopefully have some family within the book that sort of was like theirs.
A lot of these things I didn’t even think about – which I guess is because of some of the privilege I had growing up. To me, they were just fun books to read that I was obsessed with, an escape, – but for so many others it was representation they were not getting elsewhere in the world at that time.
If these books were helpful for you growing up, you’ll want to check out this book because you will find that you are not alone and there is a whole community out there!
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
“We Are the Baby-Sitters Club is the ultimate companion guide for a generation of devout superfans. This book revisits the beloved series through grown-up eyes—but never loses the magic we all felt the moment we cracked open a fresh new book. BSC forever!” —Lucia Aniello, director and executive producer of The Baby-Sitters Club Netflix series
A nostalgia-packed, star-studded anthology featuring contributors such as Kristen Arnett, Yumi Sakugawa, Myriam Gurba, and others exploring the lasting impact of Ann M. Martin’s beloved Baby-Sitters Club series
In 1986, the first-ever meeting of the Baby-Sitters Club was called to order in a messy bedroom strewn with RingDings, scrunchies, and a landline phone. Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne launched the club that birthed an entire generation of loyal readers.
Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series featured a complex cast of characters and touched on an impressive range of issues that were underrepresented at the time: divorce, adoption, childhood illness, class division, and racism, to name a few.
In We Are the Baby-Sitters Club, writers and a few visual artists from the original BSC generation will reflect on the enduring legacy of Ann M. Martin’s beloved series, thirty-five years later—celebrating the BSC’s profound cultural influence.
Contributors include Paperback Crush author Gabrielle Moss, illustrator Siobhán Gallagher, and filmmaker Sue Ding, as well as New York Times bestselling author Kristen Arnett, Lambda Award–finalist Myriam Gurba, Black Girl Nerds founder Jamie Broadnax, and Paris Review contributor Frankie Thomas.
One of LitHub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021, We Are the Baby-Sitters Club looks closely at how Ann M. Martin’s series shaped our ideas about gender politics, friendship, fashion and beyond.