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The Summer Before (Babysitters Club)

de Ann M. Martin

Sèrie: The Baby-Sitters Club (Prequel)

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2301289,525 (3.66)2
During the summer before their seventh-grade year, Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey tackle difficulties, including family problems, crushes, moving, and making new friends.
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First, you must understand that the Babysitters Club is a MAJOR blast from my past - of all the crappy YA series in the world, this is the one I collected and read the most from oh, maybe 1989-1992ish. I still have my old books (and then some) and once in a while break one out when I need a security blanket.

But this. I have never felt any need to go beyond the BSC of my youth, whether the later series like California Diaries and Friends Forever or new additions like this. Once I got past the "AW, MY CHILDHOOD!" reaction, the revival of an 80s/90s artifact like this just seems *weird*. Really, aren't we all just fans of Claudia's outfits now? Is babysitting still a draw for YA readers? Can't we remember the 10 years of perspective that have created the BSC-snark movement that I so loooooooooooove? Why did ANM seem to forget that Mary Anne doesn't know Jenny Prezzioso four books later?

Anyway, kudos to ANM (yes. ANM in my brain) and Scholastic for resuscitating the BSC and reminding me (again) of how funny my old fictional BFFs are.

(As for this book in particular: it's a little weird to read a BSC book written in retrospective voice - and sometimes using overly adult phraseology, but that was always a delightful feature of the series, I guess - and I'm disappointed they didn't put the girls' names in their own handwriting as headers, but it was a good revisit to Stoneybrook. And I didn't remember what a huge bitch Laine was! ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
I was told I HAD to read this, the latest (but still a prequel) Baby Sitter's Club book.
Well, I read it and it reminded me that I didn't really care for the BSC books when I was little, so it didn't impress me now. Sorry, BSC. :( ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
A nice trip down memory lane, this book tells the story of the original four BSC members before Kristy's Great Idea. Mary Anne is struggling with her strict father, Kristy is dealing with her absentee father and her mother's relationship with Watson, Claudia is becoming more interested in boys and makeup and less interested in her childish friends, and Stacey is leaving her ex-best friend Laine and NYC for small town Stoneybrook.

The book was typical BSC yet it somehow tugged at my heartstrings a bit and even brought a tear to my eye. The characters seemed a little more real to me as they navigated through the tricky years of becoming teenagers, growing out of old friendship, and discovering new ones. I felt like all four characters had more genuine and realistic emotions than I remembered in the BSC.

A few things that confused me...in this book Claudia had a high school boyfriend! Did they mention Claudia's high school boyfriend in the series and I am just forgetting it? Even though it ended poorly, it seems like it would have been big news we should have known about. Also, it was strange that Stacey was eating organic eggs and tofu sausage for breakfast. Wasn't Dawn the only one that ate crazy things like that? Mrs. Newton seems to have gotten a cell phone, which is strange. And I think that Mr. Spier making Mary Anne wear her hair in braids with ribbons every day is beyond strict. That is a little creepy. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Very enjoyable for childhood (and continuing...) fans of the series. I found it to be very much in the spirit of the early "classic" books I loved so much, and it was fun for me to see how Ann imagined the girls pre-BSC. Some funny and very touching moments about friendship and growing up. Thanks, Ann! ( )
  LudieGrace | Dec 4, 2013 |
I would never have known this prequel was written 10 years after the last book in the series, the writing is exactly the same. What's comforting in the BSC series is that nothing really changes from book to book - the characters stay the same and react to different events around them, as was the case here where each girl has a very definite personality and acts accordingly but the love and the friendship and the baby-sitting jobs are all excellent. I especially liked to see Mary-Anne's interactions with her father and what her life looks like outside of the Club, she's my favourite. The books deals with the gap between childhood and teenage years and while raising questions, it doesn't provide easy answers, which I thought was interesting. Realy good book and an excellent comfort series. ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
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During the summer before their seventh-grade year, Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey tackle difficulties, including family problems, crushes, moving, and making new friends.

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