The Awesome 13 – The Baby-Sitter’s Club
For some reason I’ve totally been in Baby-Sitter’s Club mood lately. It’s probably because the short-lived television series from 1990 is now on Netflix and I’ve been secretly watching it in the mornings as I get ready for work, but I’ve totally had BSC on my mind.
I’ve written about how important this series is to me before in this wonderful post, but now it’s time to pick my favorites. I thought it was going to be easy, but it totally wasn’t. The fact is I love every single one of these books. But since I know the first 20 or so books of this 200+ book series backwards and forwards, I pretty much narrowed it down to those, which made things a little easier.
So here it is…my top 13 BSC books!
13. Stacey’s Mistake (#18)
In this book, Stacey is back living in New York City and invites Claudia to visit her for the weekend. But she doesn’t expect her best friend from NYC Laine (total B, by the way) and best friend from Stoneybrook to totally hate each other! There’s so much middle school nastiness in this book that I just can’t help but love it.
12. The Baby-Sitters’ Winter Vacation (Super Special #3)
I love stories that take place during the winter, and because this one was a Super Special, it makes it extra awesome. Their class takes a ski trip to Vermont, and as you’d expect, all sorts of crazy stuff happens, like the Winter War, busses over-turning, and Mary Anne missing Logan (as always).
11. The Truth About Stacey (#3)
In this book we find out all about Stacey’s diabetes, which was pretty groundbreaking at the time because it showed us that anyone can get diabetes, but that it’s something that could be managed on a day-to-day basis. The fact that Stacey could deal with it made the whole thing less scary, at least for me, and taught me a lot. Great book.
10. Mary Anne Saves the Day (#4)
This is the first time we really get to know Mary Anne, the person with whom I identified the most – shy, quiet, timid, etc. But even though she’s all those things, and even though the book starts off with a horrible fight between the four girls and none of them are speaking to each other, Mary Anne is able to overcome all of that when put in a crisis situation. I loved this book because it made me believe that I could overcome scary situations, too. Oh, and Mary Anne gets to take her braids out for the first time. Pretty sweet.
9. Little Miss Stoneybrook and Dawn (#15)
I always found myself re-reading this book again and again because it was so much fun reading about the kids getting ready for the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant. I usually only loved the stories that focused on the baby-sitters, but this one focused on the kids and made them sound like so much fun. You could tell Ann M. Martin had a good time writing this one and trying to think of all sorts of different talents for those kids. So much fun. Also, pageants!
8. The Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation (Super Special #2)
If there’s one thing I love more than winter stories, it’s summer camp stories. And that’s what happens in this super special. The BSC girls are CITs (Counselor-in-Training) at Camp Mohawk and, as usual, hijinks ensue. Dawn gets lost in the wilderness overnight (!), Kristy learns how to use mascara (!!), and Mary Anne gets caught sneaking over to the boys’ side of the camp (!!!). Also Stacey spends the two weeks in the infirmary with poison ivy…and Claudia develops a crush on a boy CIT. Good times.
7. Mary Anne’s Bad-Luck Mystery (#17)
I always loved the books about “scary” topics, and this one never disappointed. Mary Anne thinks she’s cursed because all this bad stuff starts happening to her after she starts getting mysterious letters saying that she’ll have bad luck – a letter that she IGNORED. Of course it turns out that mega-B Cokie Mason was behind the whole thing because she wanted to get her claws on Mary Anne’s boyfriend, Logan. Still, the whole thing was always spooky to me.
6. Baby-Sitters on Board! (Super Special #1)
This was the first super special of the series, and at the time it was a pretty big deal because a) it had more pages than the normal books, b) it was from all the girls’ points of view, rather than just one, and c) it was awesome. The girls go on a cruise to the Bahamas and Disney World and lots of fun stuff happens, like Claudia getting a secret admirer and Kristy playing matchmaker. Oh, and the Pike triplets find buried treasure. I’m pretty sure I had a crush on the Pike triplets.
5. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (#2)
If Mary Anne was the only with whom I identified, then Claudia was the one I wanted to BE. Because, admit it, she was the coolest one. This was Claudia’s first book, and I loved that it was a spooky one. Claudia starts getting weird phone calls where the person just breathes and then hangs up. There’s also a burglar hanging around Stoneybrook, which makes this whole situation even scarier. Turns out it’s just a boy who likes Claudia who’s just afraid to talk to her (duh). Still. Spooky.
4. Kristy’s Big Day (#6)
For as long as I can remember, this was always my very favorite BSC book. Why? Well, let’s see. Kristy is not too thrilled with her mom deciding to remarry, and a pissed-off Kristy is always kind of fun. But it’s probably because the whole book is about planning a wedding, and what girl doesn’t love that? Also, trying to coordinate all those kids into the wedding spelled chaos, which spelled fun for me. And Kristy ends up all happy in the end. Yay.
3. Boy-Crazy Stacey (#8)
Um, a summer spent on the Jersey Shore with a bunch of cute boys running around? Yes, please! But seriously, what made this book so great was that Ann M. Martin put Stacey and Mary Anne together to take the trip to Sea City, NJ – two totally different people that didn’t really know much about each other – and made them get over the whole awkwardness to because actual close friends at the end. This book wouldn’t have been the same had Stacey gone to Sea City with Claudia, or Mary Anne with Kristy. It was the dynamic that made it great. And cute boys.
2. The Ghost at Dawn’s House (#9)
This book had the ultimate creep factor going for it when Dawn discovers a secret passage in her ancient house. Combine creepy storms outside and creepy noises coming from the passageway at night and you have the perfect summer read. Also, I’m pretty sure I also had a crush on Dawn’s brother, Jeff. But whatever. I love this book.
1. Kristy’s Great Idea(#1)
Well I couldn’t exactly make any other book my number one pick, right? This was the one that started it all! We get to meet all four original members at the club’s inception and how they were on the brink of going their separate ways, as people do in middle school, only to be brought back together by The Baby-Sitter’s Club. It was a great foundation for a great series, and holds up to this day even though it was written 27 years ago. Some things never get old!