the smell of my desperation has become a stench

I thought Kristy’s stepdad was Winston Brewer but Kate knew it was really Watson

This is Sarah’s next guest post, and before we begin I have to admit that I’ve never cracked open a single edition of the Babysitters Club, although I think I read every single VC Andrews book ever written and I used to hoard Sweet Valley High paperbacks. And because I’ve got kids and they ate my brain, the only thing I can remember about those series respectively is INCEST! And I think there were two blonde twins who drove a Fiat? Or is that just my lesbian fantasy?


One night last fall, I met my friend Kate for drinks. Kate and I lived practically down the street from each other for years in Brooklyn, but never managed to actually meet for drinks until we both moved across an ocean to another country. This was all fine with me, because we met for drinks at the Mayflower, which is a 500 year old pub with a fireplace. One of the upsides of drinking in England is that you can do so much of it by a fire. In fact, that was the third time just that week that I drank by a fireplace. It feels so decadent to even say that, like I’m the Marie Antoinette of cider.

As typically happens if I’ve had more than two drinks and the company is willing, talk turned to the Babysitters Club, specifically Stacey McGill, and I was very pleased to learn that Kate could also mimic Stacey’s distinctive handwriting. I could probably still mimic most of the (original) BSC members’ handwriting at 33 years old, despite the fact that the last book I read was in 1989, and I’ve taken several courses in algebra since then. In fact, I’d bet money that you could shake me awake in the middle of the night, shove a pen into my hand, and I could fake Stacey’s handwriting better than Ann M. Martin herself. I could also rattle off the full names and club offices held of each member. It’s this very sort of skill that keeps me at the top of my field.

The other day I actually thought how I’d like to track down a copy of Babysitters Club #18: Stacey’s Big Mistake, just so I could see how Ann M. Martin’s New York circa 1988 measured up to my own New York circa 2010. How sad is it that whenever I think of the Dakota, I don’t think that John Lennon lived there, but that Stacey’s friend Laine did? (Laine was so sophisticated, she didn’t have to have a perm. This was a serious gamechanger for eleven-year-old me.) I’ve spent my life thinking of things in terms of Babysitters Club titles. Like, god, she is such a Boy Crazy Stacey. Or once, when my college boyfriend Joey helped me watch the kids I nannied, I told him I loved how he was being Logan Bruno: Boy Babysitter. And he was all confused and sort of panicky, like, who? What? Does this mean you think I’m gay?

My parents gave me a small allowance, but otherwise I had to earn money doing chores, and save up if I wanted to buy something. But the one thing they’d never say no to was books. So I would call the Waldenbooks at our local mall for days, seeing if the newest BSC title had come in yet. They knew me, and they were not completely charmed by these requests. I would say, “Hello, I’m calling to see if—” and they’d be like, “Not yet, Sarah.” Then, the minute it was in, I’d make my dad drive me to the mall, and he’d always make the same joke on the way there: “What is this one, Babysitters Club #9000: Babysitters On Mars?” And I’d roll my eyes and will him to drive faster, all the while wondering what color this one would be.

I stopped reading after #22, Little Miss Stoneybrook… and Dawn, presumably because I discovered I could harass boys on the phone instead of my local Waldenbooks. tells me they went all they way up to #131, not counting spin-offs and Super Specials. Ann M. Martin only wrote the first 35. The rest were ghostwritten. Looks like I got out while the getting was good.

Just last week, I had drinks again with Kate, and she told me she’d heard that Ann M. Martin came out of retirement to write a Babysitters Club prequel. I was hoping she’d gone all David Lynch meets Muppet Babies, maybe written a story about the babysitters being babysat, but Kate said it’s just supposed to be about the summer after sixth grade, before they formed the club. I’m sad there’s no longer a Waldenbooks at the mall near my parents’ house for me to call to order it.

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    2010/06/25 at 2:19 pm

    It was Lila who drove the Fiat in Sweet Valley High. Ahh memories:-) I can’t believe you didn’t read the Babysitters’ Club. I insist you read the entire series immediately, you know, between all that parenting and running of a major website and stuff!

  • kristanhoffman

    2010/06/25 at 2:20 pm

    Haha. Well, then you might be happy to know that there is going to be a Sweet Valley High “sequel.” Francine Pascal (I believe it’s one author, and the same one, but I could be wrong) signed a deal with St. Martin’s to write about the twins 10 yrs later, in their 20s I think.

    (I vaguely know this because I’m possibly writing a book for the same editors, so I follow their news/blogs and whatnot. POSSIBLY. … o_O Cross your fingers?)

  • LuckIsMyMiddleName

    2010/06/25 at 2:31 pm

    I actually unearthed several of my Original! Babysitters Club! Books! a few weeks ago while digging through the boxes I left in my parents’ basement after high school. Since I currently work at Barnes & Noble and am mostly disdainful of the recent BSC incarnations (graphic novels? wtf?), I felt like I had discovered a relic from a happier time.

    Mostly I’m commenting because I wanted to brag that somewhere there exists a photo of eleven-year-old me standing next to Ann M. Martin at a book signing. Also, to say hey Sarah: One of the Super Specials was entirely about the babysitters’ trip to New York. That’s the one you need to find.

  • Enatural7

    2010/06/25 at 2:49 pm

    I never read this series either. But, I read Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews. I couldn’t put them down. INCEST!

  • Alexandra

    2010/06/25 at 3:19 pm

    I am definitely the leading authority on all things BSC related.

    I also need to confess something that happened when I met Ann M. Martin when I was 10 years old. The 100th book had just come out – I immediately purchased the ‘special edition’ and found out that Martin was coming to a bookstore near me. I don’t know if any of you noticed, but there were always continuity errors in every book. One book featured “Cokie Gray” – unless Cokie Mason and Alan Gray (who I suspect was gay) got married randomly, clearly that’s a mistake.

    Well I wrote Ann M. Martin a letter about how I wanted to be an author when I grew up. I meant to tell her how much writing meant to me and how much I loved the BSC. What did I do?

    I shook her hand, handed her the letter, and then asked her to sign my books.

    Then I said “You know, you should really get a new editor because your books are riddled with errors and I always notice them.” RIDDLED WITH ERRORS.


    To her credit, she was extremely graceful and said that when I grow up, I should be an editor if I’ve got an eye for details like that at a young age.

    She also wrote back a very nice letter to me. I still, to this day, cannot believe that I said that.

    Seriously though, I learned about diabetes (brittle!) because of Stacey. My first screen name was SlvrSquigl because of a pin Laine Cummings (who laughed at Stacey when she wet her sleeping bag at a party because of her diabetes – what a jerk!) was wearing in one of the books. I found out about autism because of Kristy and Susan. I’ve always had a scary good memory and a large chunk of it is probably BSC trivia.

    In case you need a demonstration of my “skills” – Dawn’s mom name is Sharon. Her brother’s name is Jeff. Mary Anne’s dad’s name is Richard, her cat’s name is Tigger, her dead mom’s name is Alma. Jessi’s boyfriend’s name was Quint. She got stuck in a snowstorm in Stamford. Abby’s sister Anna had asthma. Her mom got in a train accident and missed her soccer game. Kristy’s step-dad was Watson Brewer with step-siblings Karen and Andrew, who lived in the same neighbourhood as Shannon Kilbourne and David Michael named a dog after Shannon after Louie died, oh and they got an adopted sister named Emily Michelle.

    WHO REMEMBERS THIS CRAP 15 YEARS LATER? How much more useful stuff could fill up that space? But no, it’s filled with BSC trivia.

    Oh also, I read the new Ann M. Martin book and I have to say it was just the same stuff over again. I already knew most of what happened in that book just by reading the other books.

    I wish she’d done something like – take the perspective of the girls at 30 or 40. THAT would have been really interesting.

    Plus Kristy would have come out by then, so that would be even more interesting.

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/25 at 2:55 pm

    Alexandra, let’s run away together, just you and me.

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/25 at 2:56 pm

    Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield shared a red Spider Fiat and had matching gold lavalier necklaces. Do not get me started on My Sweet Audrina. Unless we have drinks.

  • Alexandra

    2010/06/25 at 3:00 pm

    Sarah, sounds like a plan. Admittedly I had to keep editing my comment to include more of my trivia knowledge about these books.

    If ever I make it on to Jeopardy, which is my ultimate goal in life – (also, to beat Ken Jennings earnings record – sorry Mormons) – I hope that there is a category called “BSC Trivia” because I will own it. I just need to brush up on my bible knowledge, that’s my Achilles heel.

    Also, I’ve actually started acquiring the old school versions of the books whenever I see them at thrift stores because if I ever have kids, I want my future daughter to understand why the photos of me in the 90s feature outfits such as “bright turquoise leggins with scribbled flowers and an oversized matching turquoise v-neck sweater that hung down to my knees.” Or better yet – “a pair of Zebra earrings with leopard socks and a tiger print hat with a parrot feather hair clip, totally jungle” because I based my fashion sense off the horrendous clothing descriptions in those books.

  • smithie1996

    2010/06/25 at 3:04 pm

    Athough I never read the Babysitter Club series (I don’t know why. Maybe I was re-reading Betsy Tacy/Nancy Drew/Laura Ingalls/Anne of Green Gables for the millionth time) but I am proud to note that Ann Martin went to Smith College. But maybe Smith should have taught her better editing skills. 🙂

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/25 at 3:05 pm

    Whenever I get my hair cut, I always think of Stacey’s “fabulous shaggy blonde mane.” It’s amazing how many of the outfit descriptions have stuck in my head, word for word, all these years.

  • sherrye22

    2010/06/25 at 3:06 pm

    Sadly, today’s helicopter parents would probably have fired Kristy for disciplining their children instead of “redirecting” them; Claudia would have been turned away at the door once her measly “C” average was found out; Mary Anne would have been caught “sexting” Logan instead of working with her charges on their “Your Baby Can Read” flashcards and thus been turned into the local police; Stacey’s diabetes alone would have kept her out of the running – NEEDLES? IN MY HOME? WHERE MY CHILDREN ARE?

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/25 at 3:09 pm

    Reformed BSC fans might enjoy this site: What Claudia Wore

  • Alexandra

    2010/06/25 at 3:09 pm

    Also, can someone explain to me why we needed to be hit over the head with the fact that Claudia clearly had some sort of eating disorder. She hid food around her room – BUT NEVER GAINED A POUND AND HAD PERFECT SKIN. Why didn’t she have rats and raccoons in that pigsty? Seriously, she opens up a Kid Kit and out comes a rabid squirrel that survived solely off Mallomars to chew her face off, starting with her almond-shaped eyes. (We get it, she’s Japanese, that’s really all you needed to say.)

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/25 at 3:11 pm

    Okay, I have to go out now but seriously, Alexandra, you’re speaking my language.

  • Sarah McDougall

    2010/06/25 at 3:13 pm

    OMG! I loved, loved, loved the BSC! My absolute favorite thing to do on the weekends while I was aged 8 to 13 was reread the entire series starting from 1 to the most recently published # at the time. (Which could explain the lack of social skills I had in high school, now that I think about it.) I was so excited when a new one came out and to see what color the book would be. My favorite character was Mary Anne because she was always really emotional and was the first to have a boyfriend. I, too was always really emotional as a child and was encouraged that this was a quality to have to land a “man.” Little did I know all the guys wanted was a little action instead of a little crier.

  • ekp

    2010/06/25 at 3:16 pm

    I’m proud to say I’ve read all the BSC books (including the Super Specials – fav is the cruise/Disney one!), seen the movies, and owned the (lame!) board game, as well as read all the SV books (from elementary to college!) and watched the TV series. The thought of a prequel or sequel to either makes me giddy. Which is really sad since I’m now 26.

    I would go to the library and use my library card and my mom’s (because the 10 book limit on one card wasn’t enough books for me at a time) and load up a plastic basket with both series and bury my nose in books for a week. I too learned about diabetes from Stacey (and was terrified I was going to develope it myself, which would be horrifying since I ate/eat candy like Claudia!) and about autism from Kristy’s babysitting of the autistic girl. At least I learned something, right? I also wanted to be a “perfect size 6”, have eyes “the exact color of the Pacific Ocean” and have a twin though…

    I love love loved this post! Thank you for the walk down memory lane!

  • nova276

    2010/06/25 at 3:16 pm

    An old roommate and I used to buy the original BSC books and early-90s Harlequin novels at our local Goodwill for 33 cents each. Thirty-three cents, can you even believe that?! We’d read them and put the funniest quotes on a poster we had on the wall of our living room. Oh, to be 23 and kind of a dork again.

  • Shamelessly Sassy

    2010/06/25 at 3:20 pm

    Things that have devastated me in order of importance:
    a.)finding out Ann M. Martin didn’t write all of the babysitter club books.
    b.) finding out I could not pull off Claudia Kishi fashion
    c.) finding out my husband was fucking other women.

  • TriptikGirl

    2010/06/25 at 3:22 pm

    I always wished that I could start a club like BSC, but none of my friends live near me, or even liked to babysit.

    Sarah: I used to stalk bookstores for the latest books too!

    And when I’m bored and have nothing else to read, I’ll check out an old VC Andrews’ book from the library. My favorite series was the “Heaven” books.

  • SuzRocks

    2010/06/25 at 3:34 pm

    Which is the one who always had a stash of M&Ms? Claudia?

    I used to check the BSC and SVH out from the library, like 20 books at a time,read them all in a week or so and go back for more. That was the life!

  • sheasadler

    2010/06/25 at 3:45 pm

    I just have to add that the “Flowers in the Attic” movie- was a travesty! The books were soooo much better!

    And Jessica Wakefield was a meanie:)

  • RandomAmy

    2010/06/25 at 4:03 pm

    I never read any of these series. I was all about Trixie Belden. I used to haunt the local bookstore as I walked home from school. This is why it would take me hours to walk 1 mile. Occasionally it would be really cold, rainy or dark and my dad would show up in the bookstore to tap me on the shoulder and say, “C’mon your mother has dinner ready.”

    I wanted to have a clubhouse in the woods and a cool older brother who could drive and a rich and super generous best friend. I have all the ones the original author Kathyrn Kenny wrote, but am annoyed that they changed the style of the last few covers.

    Thanks for the memories. I might have to go read a few.

  • superpuppy

    2010/06/25 at 4:19 pm

    When Scarlett Johannson first became popular the immediate thought that came to my mind was:

    “Wait, Charlotte Johannson? The one Mary Ann babysat?”

    I too, would love a BSC “Where Are They Now” book. I’m sure David Michael turned out ridiculously hot.

  • melography

    2010/06/25 at 5:03 pm

    I actually found one of my old BSC books the other day when tidying my bedroom. It must have been on the very top shelf, hidden from view, for about 10 years. I sat and read it from cover to cover and regret throwing out all my other BSC books.

    I remember that my neighbour and I used to buy the books between us and share them, but because I’m 2 years younger, I inherited them when she discovered boys.

    It pained me that I couldn’t set up my own BSC when I was younger, it really did.

  • StephHyne

    2010/06/25 at 5:10 pm

    I actually set up my own BSC when I was young and I rocked it. Their kid kit was a lifesaver! I wish I remembered the books in so much detail now. I remember the anticipation of each and every new volume but I can’t really remember even the key plot points. I had my whole collection in my basement and my house burned so it’s gone, signed copy and all. I was bummed because I intended to pass them down to my daughter and now I can’t.

    I also read a few SVH but I didn’t like them as much. VC Andrews rocks, my Goddaughter is actually named after a VC Andrews character because my best friend is weird that way.

  • g.b.

    2010/06/25 at 5:21 pm

    That is awesome. The only BSC book I ever owned/read was the one where Claudia breaks her leg. Claudia and the Femoral Fracture? Claudia and the Big Accident? Something like that?

    Now, Nancy Drew and her titian hair? OWNED ME. I stalked the library and, yes, the Waldenbooks with my allowance and I read EVERY SINGLE BOOK that existed (both the originals and the updated, hip-to-the-late-80’s/early-90’s “Nancy Drew Files”) up through… maybe 1991. Whereupon I developed acne, breasts, and a bad attitude and began stalking the library for smut.

  • agarf

    2010/06/25 at 5:21 pm

    BSC was a pivotal part of my 6th grade life. I’m 34 y/o, and Sarah has hit on something that I can also totally relate to. Thanks for bringing back a flood of memories!!! Some girls liked Choose Your Own Adventure or other series, but BSC was my fav!!!

  • Natalie

    2010/06/25 at 5:50 pm

    I didn’t read this series either. But VC Andrews?! Hell yes!

    I went to a very strict Christian high school. When I was in the 9th grade, we had to do an oral book report. One of the girls got up and explained all the lurid details of her book choice, Flowers in the Attic. I thought my English teacher was going to go into convulsions. Her face turned red, veins popping out everywhere, and she actually screamed “BLASPHEMER!” before throwing the girl out of the classroom.

    After school, 6 of us got one of the 11th grade boys to drive us to the mall so we could all buy a copy of the book.

    It. Was. Awesome.

  • weebits

    2010/06/25 at 6:16 pm

    The Ghost at Dawn’s House had me knocking on the walls of my house to see if there was a secret passage way. And OF COURSE I was a part of my own Babysitter’s club. However, we didn’t actually babysit. We just got together to eat potluck candy!

  • tallnoe

    2010/06/25 at 6:17 pm

    Oh dear… I’m totally in agreement with @sherrye22. Wow – no one would let those girls near them.

    I remember them fondly, but I don’t believe I read past #20, or anything. I don’t recall when I got into harlequin books, but… sometime I did!

    The Sweet Valley High movie has been rumoured for ages – I want it now!

    Thanks for the memory lane – and I am stunned that some of us have the info STILL in the brain. Wow. Impressive.

  • jem3278

    2010/06/25 at 6:22 pm

    I still want to be a Wakefield twin…

    Given that my name is Jessica, the fact that Jessica Wakefield was such a bitch caused a bit of internal conflict for me. It’s the only time I ever hated my name. I DIDN’T WANT TO BE LIKE HER!

    Ah, to be young again. 🙂

  • lrennie86

    2010/06/25 at 7:40 pm

    I too can write like Stacey and the hearts that dotted my I’s earned me a low grade on a 4th grade paper. I’m still bitter.

    I HATED mallory. Could you be more uncool??

    I was convinced that I had diabetes b/c my skin bruises easily.

    I rejoiced when I met my now husband and discovered his middle name is Scott. HOTTTT.

    I love this post and the comments so much I just want to hug everyone.

  • CalissaLeigh

    2010/06/25 at 7:53 pm

    Pink and purple butterflies in the attic.

    *Was totally addicted to V. C. Andrews!*

    I loved the Ruby series. Maybe that’s why I ended up in Louisiana.

  • Sarah P

    2010/06/25 at 8:27 pm

    ah BSC! I have been adamantly against having kids since I WAS a kid, but one thing I could never let go of was my BSC collection, just in case I have a little girl of my own one day to share it with. I have a giant box full of them hiding in a spare closet and this post makes me want to pull them out and read the entire series over again. I think I have most of the collection up through #70 or so, plus the super specials and mysteries and the super mysteries, and even the Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club, with a map of stoneybrook!

    I feel like just as much of a dork right now as I did in 5th grade, but the BSC was fabulous. I am also guilty of reading the BSC Little Sister books.

  • Sarah P

    2010/06/25 at 8:32 pm

    Also- my complete guide is signed by Ann M. Martin herself… 11 year old me was terribly excited about that!

  • chiklita

    2010/06/25 at 9:17 pm

    The BSC were my only friends in middle school. Actually, they still are my only friends.

  • Anndruh

    2010/06/25 at 10:08 pm

    I found a few VC Andrews books in some musty old boxes of that belonged to my mom in our garage when I was 11. I believe it was the series where the girl lives in the boonies with her piece of shit dad and crazy step mom and grandma.

    Her name was Heaven Leigh, and the one thing I was completely fascinated with in that series was the INCEST! And the INDIRECT INCEST (Heaven ends up falling for her older brother who was not at all her blood relative but she grew up thinking he was)!

    I wonder what kind of effed up shiz Ms. Andrews dealt with in her childhood…

  • d3 voiceworks

    2010/06/29 at 12:50 pm


  • TexasKatie

    2010/06/25 at 11:16 pm

    I remember bawling my eyes out when Louie the collie died – that was Kristy McGill’s dog. It was partly because I had a collie myself growing up, and it just hit at my heartstrings. I think that particular book was completely stained with teardrops.

    I think I read all of the books up to about book number 40, or so, and then they started getting really lame. It makes sense now to learn that Ann M. Martin didn’t write the later ones.

    Remember when they all went on a trip to Disney World and went on that cruise ship? Even as a kid, I remember thinking how absolutely asinine that was that all of those kids from the same farkin’ town would somehow be able to go on a damn Disney cruise together. I was so jealous, though, and probably read that book over and over again like 50 times just because I so wanted to go to Disney.

    There are so many good memories of that series. I remember wanting to dress just like Claudia and Stacey – alas, I was a dork and ended up being a cross between Mary Ann and Kristy.

    As for the V.C. Andrews books – Flowers in the Attic was the bestest. How crazy to think that teenage kids would allow themselves to be locked in a freakin’ attic when they could have very easily crawled out the window. And then to have sex with each other? Ewwwwws. But it was so much fun to read.

    Thanks for the blast from the past!

  • wordsupmixed

    2010/06/26 at 12:28 am

    what? a whole blog entry without a single word about chickens??

  • emmafolds

    2010/06/26 at 1:48 am

    I love this! I am happy to report that BSC was just as popular in the UK – I read them avidly in the early nineties. I, too, learnt so much from the books, but one thing I did not know, and was too embarrassed to ask, was exactly what a manilla envelope was. I sort of assumed it was scented with manly vanilla.

  • confusedkaty

    2010/06/26 at 6:50 am

    Holy Vomit Comet! To this day whenever there is a fridge full of goodies in my hotel room, I hear Watson scolding me on how overpriced everything in there is and to just take my lazy butt to the vending machines!

    Also, my little group of friends and I formed the “Landen Ohio Chapter Babysitters Club”, put our allowances together for our operating expenses, held meetings, handed out fliers and then waited….. For not one single phone call. Apparently, not many people are interested in leaving their children in the incompetent hands of a ten year old.

    Also, I think of Dawn as BSC “jumping the shark” and stopped reading soon after her arrival….though this may have had more to do with the discovery of the Dead Milkmen and stealing cigarettes, than poor, innocent Dawn.

  • Sarah Brown

    2010/06/26 at 6:59 am

    “Manly vanilla” gave me a really good laugh, thanks for that, emmafolds.

    I remember thinking it ridiculous that they got to take a cruise to the Bahamas AND go to Disneyworld on the same vacation. I mean, those are TWO vacations! And then Claudia had a secret admirer WHILE ON VACATION! These things never happened to me.

    To this day, whenever I hear the word “kismet,” I remember learning what it meant in a BSC Super Special.

  • Erinn822

    2010/06/26 at 7:13 am

    This just took me back so many years! I had ALL the BSC books…specials and all… there was a local bookstore that would call me when a new one came in. I was obsessed with Stacy. I felt bad for her, because, I, too, had type 1 diabetes. Except, in the book, Stacey had doctors (i.e. bad research on the part of the writer) that didn’t know what the heck they were doing. There was lots of misinformation given about type 1 diabetics.
    Also, when I would go babysit, I made my self a “kid kit” just like they made in the book! (I think they did that when another BSC popped up and they needed to have extra ammo for keeping business). Weird how much you remember. I agree that Kristy needed to come out. Claudia needed medication I think…
    Great memories.

  • ohjulie

    2010/06/26 at 7:29 am

    I was a complete BSC freak back in the day. My second-grade teacher yelled at me because I used to write like Stacey and she said my capital “S” looked like a lowercase “b,” and that it was totally inappropriate to dot a lowercase “i” with a heart BUT EXCUSE ME, BUT STACEY DOES IT. And I played softball, so I loved Kristy’s storylines (even though that’s the extent of what we had in common).

    Did anyone else have BSC dolls? They were bigger than a Barbie, but slightly smaller than an American Girl doll. I had Kristy and Stacey, and I made them babysit my Barbies. Heh.

  • oyukichan

    2010/06/26 at 7:37 am

    I have actually read more young adult books since becoming an adult than I did as a kid/teenager. I wasn’t into Baby Sitter’s Club, but I loved horses and read a good chunk of the Saddle Club books. I also read all of Christopher Pike’s vampire series. The only one I really remember anything about was the vampire series. That was good stuff. 100 times better than Twilight (sorry kids!). Why can’t they make that series into a movie!?

    I suppose I read a couple Nancy Drew books, but mystery and silly girl teen stuff wasn’t really my thing. Jumped into 600+ page fantasy novels at 13 and never looked back.

    Reading the post and all the comments does take me back, though. Mostly because I also stalked my local Waldenbooks and they knew me by name! 🙂 I was constantly pre-ordering all of the Mercedes Lackey novels. 🙂

  • scuppie

    2010/06/26 at 9:49 am

    Oh my god, this post and the comments are AMAZING.

    I saved all of my BSC books, which I collected through maybe #50 or so, with of course some Super Specials and Mysteries thrown in. I just picked up “Claudia and the Bad Joke” (that was the one about the broken leg, per the previous poster) when I was going through some old stuff and remembered so much of what yall described: monthly trips to the bookstore with my dad so I could get the newest copy, always wishing I was Stacey, admiring both Stacey and Claudia’s eye for fashion, totally never understanding why mousy Mary Anne had the steady boyfriend. I stopped reading them when I realized the girls were never going to move on to high school, in spite of them having summer vacations like 12 times.

    I can’t believe the later books were ghostwritten. What. the. shit.

    I’m glad to see that so many others have such fond memories of those books — I have to credit them, as poorly written as some of them are, with making me into such a reader. Some of my books have tomato sauce stains in them, relics of a time when I ate my dinners with my nose buried in a book.

  • JulieB

    2010/06/26 at 9:59 am

    Wow, I used to do the EXACT SAME THING to the Waldenbooks by my house, but about the Sweet Valley High books! They totally knew my name too, and when a new book would come out I would hide away in my room, not even eating until I finished it. And then I would totally go into a depression because I knew I had to wait FOREVER for the next one to come out.

    Do you remember the one where Elizabeth rode on Todd’s stupid motorcycle and then got in the accident and then she was in a coma and then Jess got her to wake up and she turned into Jessica? That was the first time I cried over a book. They were like my friends.

    Good times.

  • JulieB

    2010/06/26 at 10:00 am

    Wow, I used to do the EXACT SAME THING to the Waldenbooks by my house, but about the Sweet Valley High books! They totally knew my name too, and when a new book would come out I would hide away in my room, not even eating until I finished it. And then I would totally go into a depression because I knew I had to wait FOREVER for the next one to come out.

    Do you remember the one where Elizabeth rode on Todd’s stupid motorcycle and then got in the accident and then she was in a coma and then Jess got her to wake up and she turned into Jessica? That was the first time I cried over a book. They were like my friends.

    Good times.

  • marginallyyours

    2010/06/26 at 10:01 am

    There is going to be a Sweet Valley High movie, and Diablo Cody is on tap to write it:
    I think her style will be just the right thing to counteract the ridiculous book reisssues (making the twins a smaller size, for one).

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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