Ask anyone who knew me as a kid, and they’ll tell you I read everything. From picture books to medical books to the back of the cereal box, I read anything that had words formed into sentences and then looked for more words.
So it’s no surprise that weeks into second grade, I had already finished all the picture books and board books in Mrs. Mills’s classroom. Luckily, I didn’t have to resign myself to rereading, for Mrs. Mills noticed this and added a collection of chapter books for me (and eventually the other kids) in the beanbag corner.
Just as I did with the picture books, I devoured the chapter books. Amelia Bedelia. Little House on the Prairie. Boxcar Children. But the series that stuck with me the most was the Baby-Sitters Club.
I still remember my first BSC book–Dawn and the Older Boy, book 37 of a series that eventually spanned over a hundred books. I had zero interest in boys at the time (and wouldn’t for at least four more years), but this book drew me in, and I immediately started reading more books in the series, even rereading them until the covers were beaten and they barely resembled books.
I remember liking Karen Brewer, even though adult me now sees her for the spoiled rich brat that she is. But during my childhood, Karen reminded me of the special snowflake that I thought I was. In fact, it was because of Karen Brewer that I drove everyone nuts by S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G everything during my spelling bee years.
Years passed, and my Baby-Sitters Club books eventually found their way to a used bookstore before a move. Despite saying farewell to be beaten BSC books, my love of all things BSC remained. I read a few more BSC books per year to add to the total, never seriously considering the possibility of finishing the series off…until this year. I made a spreadsheet recently documenting all the Baby-Sitters Club and Baby-Sitters Little Sister books, along with the Super Specials and Mysteries and the other related spinoffs (California Diaries and The Kids In Ms. Colman’s Class, for instance). After reading eight more books in July, 205 books stand between me and finishing the full series. Considering how quickly I can read a BSC or BSLS book, that’s not many at all. Thanks to a combination of ebooks and the local library, I could finish all the books in the next year or two with some extra effort.
While the books don’t have to be read in chronological order, I plan on maintaining some semblance of order with the reading. What this means is I’ll try to stay at roughly the same chronological order within each series, at least when it comes to things like major character additions or farewells. But I’ll try not to sweat the small details, like where the Kids in Ms. Colman’s Class books stand within the greater chronological order. There is one big rule, and one alone: I plan on reading the remaining Friends Forever books last for closure’s sake.
Let’s do it. Anyone with me?