This week's Weekly Geek is on books through the decades.
Tell us about a book that came out in the decade you were born which you either loved or hated. Is is relevant to today? Is it a classic, or could it be? Give us a mini-review, or start a discussion about the book or books.
I love this question and of course the books I'm going to talk about are the Baby-Sitters Club series, which was published from 1986 - 2000. And I was one of those girls who grew up on the books. My library at the time had an entire shelf of the series and I went through them like wildfire. I was positively obsessed. At the time, of course, I didn't realize that every other girl my age was also obsessed. The books, about seven girls between the ages of 11 and 13 who have a baby-sitting club, are about friendship, family, babysitting, and middle school trials. To give you more of an idea, here are the titles of the few copies I have of them (seriously you guys, I used to own the whole series, and I still hope they're boxed up somewhere in my grandma's garage) on my shelves right now...
KRISTY'S GREAT IDEA
CLAUDIA AND THE PHANTOM PHONE CALLS
MARY ANNE SAVES THE DAY
DAWN AND THE IMPOSSIBLE THREE
THE GHOST AT DAWN'S HOUSE
LOGAN LIKES MARY ANNE!
KRISTY AND THE SNOBS
CLAUDIA AND THE NEW GIRL
JESSI'S SECRET LANGUAGE
DAWN ON THE COAST
JESSI AND THE SUPERBRAT
CLAUDIA AND THE GREAT SEARCH
MARY ANNE + 2 MANY BABIES
MARY ANNE'S MAKEOVER
KRISTY AND THE COPYCAT
KRISTY AND THE DIRTY DIAPERS
BSC SUPER SPECIAL: BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD!
Honestly, these books are classics in their own right. There are plenty of blogs right now by adults my age and a bit older looking back at their old BSC books. Some blogs (like the incredible What Claudia Wore) focus on the girls' fashion, while others snarkily dissect the writing and plots with a fondness that could only come from nostalgia (e.g. BSC Revisited). These books set forth the "perfect" group of friends long before books like GOSSIP GIRL came on the scene. Instead of being popular, rich snobs, the girls in these books are hardworking, patient, and kind. And despite this they are just as clique-ish as characters from more materialistic novels and series. These books will never be taught in English classes (OMG, I hope not) and won't ever be looked at as the great literature of our generation or of the 90's. BUT for a certain age bracket of girls, these are the books we look back on as being most loved in our childhood. (And, with the re-release of them, I genuinely hope that today's pre-teens will love them just as much.)
Some questions for my readers:
Did you read the BSC books when you were younger? (If you're female, in my age bracket, live in the US, and liked to read when you were younger, you probably did.)
Who was your favorite sitter? Mine were Mary Anne and Mallory, though I don't think I could choose between them. :)