I missed an important milestone on Monday: The Babysitters Club turned 30! I was a HUGE fan of the series as a kid. After the American Girl books, they were some of the first books I got really into. So many of the women I talk to for Girls Like You and Me mention how much they love reading, and I've been a little bit surprised that no one has talked about reading the books/ wishing they were part of the Babysitters Club. I recently retrieved the box protecting my collection (note the "skull and cross-bones" on the box) from my mom's attic.
I was intent on reading ALL of the books. I remember scouring the paperback display at my library for the next in the series, and having to wonder if I'd ever get a chance to snag one of the Super Specials. Looking through the box, I was surprised my parents let me buy so many. Turns out, the books cost $2.50, and if the names written inside the books are any indication (Klein, Cochran, Beth all appear), I acquired quite a few at rummage sales.
The Babysitters Club seemed grown-up and sophisticated, going on adventures and earning their own money, and it's funny to think of how quaint they might seem. Lots of talk of scrunch socks and tape decks, and no cell phones, at least in the original versions. Like everyone, I thought Claudia and Stacey (and Jessi) were the coolest, but pre-makeover Mary Anne was the most like me. I wasn't quite as entrepreneurial as Kristy, but I did quite a bit of babysitting in middle school and high school, and I can't help but think the the Babysitters Club helped plant the idea that I should and would do that.
I'm not the only one who looks back fondly on the BSC. Some Claudia fans remember seeing a stereotype-defying Asian-American character, artist Siobhan Gallagher imagines the BSC as adults in the "Jaded Quitters Club," and the Babysitters Fashion Club, which pairs outfits the adult babysitters might wear with (adult-appropriate) stories about the grown up babysitters.