The Summer Before



Before There Was The Baby Sitters Club, There Were Four Girls Named Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, And Stacey McGill As They Start The Summer Before Seventh Grade Also Before They Start The BSC , Each Of Them Is On The Cusp Of A Big Change Kristy Is Still Hung Up On Hoping That Her Father Will Return To Her Family Mary Anne Has To Prove To Her Father That She S No Longer A Little Girl Who Needs Hundreds Of Rules Claudia Is Navigating Her First Major Crush On A Boy And Stacey Is Leaving Her Entire New York City Life Behind In Order To Find New Friends In Stoneybrook, Connecticut The Summer Before Is A Sweet, Moving Novel About Four Girls On The Edge Of Something Big Not Just The Club That Will Change Their Lives, But Also All The Joys And Tribulations Of Being Twelve And Thirteen Exclusive Interview With Author Ann M Martin Q It S Been A Decade Since The Last Baby Sitters Club Books Came Out, And 24 Years Since The First Book Was Published What Was It Like To Come Back To The BSC After So Many Years Away Martin I Had A Great Time Re Visiting The Characters It Was Fun To Explore Their Lives In The Prequel, The Summer Before, And To Figure Out What Led The Girls To Form The Baby Sitters Club, Something That Would Eventually Change Their Lives It Was Like A Reunion With Friends Friends Who Haven T Changed A Bit Q Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, And Stacey Are Very Different Characters, Which Is In Part Why The Series Was And Is Still So Popular Every Reader Can Relate To At Least One Of The Characters So, We Have To Ask You Which Character Are You Most Like Martin I Am Most Like Mary Anne Who Is The Shy And Quiet One Like Me, Mary Anne Enjoys Solitary Pursuits Such As Reading And Needlework My Favorite Character, However, Is Kristy I Think She S My Alter Ego Q Were You Allowed To Baby Sit When You Were Twelve If So, Were They Any Funny Or Awful Stories You D Like To Share Martin Yes, I Did A Lot Of Baby Sitting When I Was Twelve One Of The Worst And Also Funniest Things That Ever Happened Was When I Was Baby Sitting For Our Neighbors And The Kids Wanted To Wash Their Parents Car They Started The Job With Much Enthusiasm Using Brillo Pads Q More Than 200 BSC Books Were Published In The Eighties And Nineties Are There Any That You Are Particularly Fond Of And Why Martin My Favorite Baby Sitters Club Book Is Kristy S Great Idea, Which Is The First Book And Sets The Series In Motion I Also Like The Serious Books Such As Claudia And The Sad Good Bye, Which Deals With The Death Of Claudia S Grandmother This Book Was Written Shortly After My Own Grandmother Died My Other Favorite BSC Books Include Kristy And The Secret Of Susan, In Which The Members Of The BSC Baby Sit For A Child With Autism, And Jessi S Secret Language In Which The Girls Learn American Sign Language In Order To Communicate With A Sitting Charge With Profound Hearing Impairment Q Why Do You Think That The Series Is So Well Loved And Has Endured Over So Many Years Martin I Think The Characters In The BSC Books Are Easily Relatable The Books Deal With Timeless Topics Including Friendship, Family, And School Also, The Books Tackle Serious Issues Including Racism, Bullying, Kids With Disabilities Physical And Mental , And Death Of A Loved One These Issues Were Relevant To Kids In The 1980s And 1990s, And Are Still Relevant To Kids Today In Addition To Being Relatable, These Are Characters Readers Can Aspire To The Kids Run A Business In This Case, A Baby Sitting Business They Are Entrepreneurial, Independent, Creative, And Confident And At The Heart Of The Series Is The Friendship The Glue That Binds These Characters Sure, They Have Fights, But They Re Loyal And They Support One Another I Think A Lot Of Us Even Adults Can Relate To That Q The Summer Before Takes Place During The Summer Before The Girls Enter The Seventh Grade Where Suddenly There S A Ton Of Pressure To Fit In The Months Leading Up To It Can Be Filled With Anxiety, Excitement, And Anticipation Do You Remember How You Spent The Summer Before Seventh Grade Martin I Was Nervous That Summer Because In The Fall I Would Be Going To A New School The Junior High This Was In The Time Before Middle Schools Even The Words Junior High Seemed Terribly Grown Up My Friends And I Would Be Attending School With Eighth Graders, Who Were One Step Away From High School I Spent That Summer Reading, Going To The Community Pool, Taking A Family Trip To Cape May, New Jersey, Doing Some Baby Sitting, And Also Recovering From Surgery But The Knowledge That I Would Soon Be In Junior High School Colored Every Day And Every Activity And Did Lend The Summer An Air Of Both Anxiety And Anticipation Q Despite The Fun The Girls Have Together In The Summer Before, They Re All Dealing With Pretty Tough Problems Moving Away, An Absentee Father, A First Crush How Did You Choose The Issues You Wanted To Focus On Martin One Of My Favorite Things About Writing A Series Was That The Characters Themselves Generated Plot Ideas For Later Books One Of The Themes That Developed As The Series Progressed Was That Of Kristy S Relationship With Her Father It Was An Idea I Enjoyed Exploring, And When I Had The Opportunity To Write The Prequel I Realized That This Summer Would Be A Charged Time For Kristy, And That I Could Introduce The Issues She Had With Her Father Here Then They Could Unfold In The Later Books The Same Applied To Stacey Her Reasons For Moving To Stoneybrook Had Been Revealed In Later Books, But I Realized That During This Particular Summer The Reader Could Actually Watch The Events Take Place The Other Issues A First Crush, Wanting Independence Yet Still Feeling Like A Kid Are Themes That I Felt Would Resonate With Most Tween Readers Q Even Though The Books Have Been Out Of Print For Ten Years There Are Still Some Very Devoted Fans Surely You Must Have Received A Ton Of Letters About The Series Over The Years Are There Any That Stick Out In Your Mind Martin The Most Memorable Are Stories Of Girls Who Have Written To Me And Told Me That I Ve Made An Impact On Their Lives, That The Baby Sitters Club Books Have Turned Them Into Readers Some Have Also Said That The BSC Books Made Them Aspire To Become Writers I Ve Also Heard From A Lot Of The Original Fans Who Grew Up To Become Teachers, Librarians, Editors, Journalists, Entrepreneurs, Etc To Know That This Series Inspired A Generation Of Readers And Writers Is Very Humbling Q There S Been A Lot Of Speculation In The Blogosphere About Where Claudia, Kristy, Mary Ann, And Stacey Would Be Now, In 2010, Had They Grown Up Do You Have Any Thoughts On What Path Each Would Have Taken Martin I Understand The Fascination Of The Older BSC Fans Who Would Like To Know What Happened With The Characters When They Got Older It S Thrilling To Realize That After All These Years The Fans Remain Passionate About The Books And The Characters In The Baby Sitters Club I Can See Kristy Running A Business I Can Also See Her Being In Politics I Think Mary Anne Became A Teacher I Imagine Stacey Went Into Fashion Not As A Designer, But Maybe On The Business Side And Claudia Became An Artist I Think Fans Can Fill In For The Rest Of The CharactersThe Summer Before

Ann Matthews Martin was born on August 12, 1955 She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with her parents and her younger sister, Jane After graduating from Smith College, Ann became a teacher and then an editor of children s books She s now a full time writer.Ann gets the ideas for her books from many different places Some are based on personal experiences, while others are based on childhood me

[Reading] ➮ The Summer Before ➶ Ann M. Martin – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • The Summer Before
  • Ann M. Martin
  • English
  • 22 January 2019
  • 9780606147880

10 thoughts on “The Summer Before

  1. says:

    Before sexy vampires and werewolves with six pack abs, before angsty adolescent wizards, there was The Baby Sitters Club the BSC, natch As a former Club devotee, turned card carrying almost 30 something, I rushed out to purchase The Summer Before, Ann M Martin s new BSC prequel As I presented the hardback to my almost 30 something salesclerk, she exclaimed, I ve been meaning to buy this Which girl was your favorite With less hesitation than I approach 99% of life s questions, I replied, Well, I always identified most with Mary Anne Me too the salesclerk said But I d have to say that Claudia was my favorite She had the best clothes Mine too my new BF affirmed And she was an artist Maybe we should all form a club The Summer Before is a pared down version of most BSC books, since it takes place before Kristy had her momentous great idea There s no crunchy granola Dawn or prima ballerina Jessi only the original Fab Four Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey Mallory makes a cameo as one of Mary Anne s first baby sitting charges, but she s blanketed under the other seven Pike dwarves Or, as the Duggars call them, That cute little family Not much has changed since Stoneybrook circa 1990 I wondered how Martin would handle the elaborate descriptions of Claudia s over the top, uber trendy fashions would Claud step out in a Team Edward t shirt and derby, instead of barrettes and strirrup pants Duh, of course not It s Th...

  2. says:

    I must have read at least fifty of these books as a child and after coming across them in a charity shop at the age of sixteen and rediscovering the joy of the adventures of these preteen babysitters, I started to recollect the books I now have half a shelf full of these colourful little novels sitting on my bookcase that I revisit when I m in need of some light relief to destress myself So when I heard that a prequel was being written I was naturally excited at the premise of it Although many BSC fans would like to hear about the lives of the characters as adults, writing about children is what Ann M Martin does best The Summer Before did not disappoint.Martin seemed to slip back into the voices of the characters very easily I particularly liked Stacey s story as it showed her as a normal girl, dealing with the problems of broken friendships and moving house A lot of the BSC books focused on Stacey s diabetes or her boyfriends or how sophisticated she was In The Summer Before she was just a regular preteen girl and I felt that she was very realistically portrayed I also enjoyed Claudia s story and the excitement yet disappointment of having your first love This was also very natural, although it would have been nice to see of Claud s relationship with her sister Janine Mary Anne has to cope with ...

  3. says:

    When I found out that there was a new Babysitter s Club coming out, I actually pre ordered the book from my local bookstore I was although I probably shouldn t have been kind of amazed at the instantaneous nostalgia that this publication inspired for me Suddenly, I was remembering the family driving trip through the Four Corners where I pretty much missed all of Utah because I was reading the first Super Special Babysitters on Board and literally could not pull my eyes away from the pages I remembered the awesome passages about Claudia s fantastic wardrobe, which inspired in me a life long love of red shoes and dangly earrings and has since been immortalized, to great effect, in the blog What Claudia Wore I remembered the sympathy I felt for Mary Ann, who had, like myself, a rather strict set of rules to live by There s really no doubt that this series was one of the pivotal cultural touch points of my young life, which I m sure is true for a lot of my peers.The point being, it would be difficult for anyon...

  4. says:

    I can t bring myself to utter one negative word about a novel by the author who inspired me to become a writer and move to New York City I bought this prequel both out of nostalgia and and a desire to support Ann M Martin no matter what she does I was a little disappointed by the lack of desciption of fashionable outfits no matter how horribly 80s the book seemed to have a serious maybe even depressing psychological undercurrent that ran deeper than the books in the original series That said, I wish I had read the part about SPOILER ALERT the end of Claudia s one sided relationship earlier in my life It was, again, a little depressing, but some women are way older than 12 when they learn that boys sometimes woo you, but that doesn t mean they re in it for the long haul So But I digress.One thing that I was reminded of toward the end of the book is the power of a child s imagination This book wasn t intended for me or for anyone in her 20s who remembers how awesome the BSC made ...

  5. says:

    Honestly, there wasn t even time for me to put this on to read and or to list progress on it I was walking through the new children s library when I went to renew my card yesterday, saw that somehow, I missed the release of an actual honest to goodness BSC book, and not just one of the re releases So I read it one sitting Just like I used to Except, as I pointed out to a friend, this time I did not lock myself in the bathroom the way I used to have to in order to keep out my older brothers while I read I m a grownup with a whole apartment to myself nowadays, so I read it sprawled on the couch.And what is there to say other than that it was fun I appreciated how true it stayed to the originals I think it s easy, after so long and so many ghostwriters to lose sight of the characters as they were, and doubly hard to evoke them again in a reader who is now than three times as old as she was the first time she met them The only character who struck me as a little off was Claudia, and while she had a fabulous little lesson learning story arc that was exactly the kind of arc that made this series fun back in the day, she was less compassionately portrayed than I think she often came off in the books But as for the other three, it was spot on The same sort of sappy sweet friendship and heartache over growing up too slowly, over friendships changing Even the writing style was exactly the same as silly...

  6. says:

    I ve always loved the BSC and I think somewhere along the line, I ve read all of the books in the series, so when I found out there was a prequel, I had to pick that up to, if only to complete the series This book follows 4 storylines about the original members of the BSC and what they are going through in their lives before the formation of the club Kristy wants to believe that her father will come back in her life I thought this storyline was okay, but it seemed slightly out of character for Kristy to be so emotional I felt for her though, and I really like the way this storyline was resolved Mary Anne tries to show her father that she s grown up than he believes her to be I was surprised by this one I liked Mary Anne a lot than I usually do she s probably my least favorite sitter and I was pleased that she could show some backbone It was a nice prequel about how she was introduced to babysitting as well Claudia navigates her first crush I didn t care for this storyline at all It seemed a little unrealistic that Claudia s parents would allow a seventh grader to go everywhere all summer long with a freshman in high school Or that Janine would like the same guy I ve always seen Janine as an almost female Sherlock Holmes cerebral and detached so to see her over the moon about a guy was odd For...

  7. says:

    Is there any way to objectively evaluate this book I spent my childhood reading literally HUNDREDS of Baby Sitters Club books, so reading this newly released prequel was like watching a home movie full of so much nostalgia and warmth that it doesn t matter how awkward it is in retrospect.I really love how easily Ann M Martin was able to slip back into these characters, and each girl in the story has a very clear narrative arc It s not great art, and the writing style is as weird as ever weirdly adult language and observations mixed with very 12 year old thoughts, vaguely stilted dialogue , but the characters are exactly the girls I fell for in elementary school I was especially taken by Stacey s arc her diabetes diagnosis and subsequent shunning by her friends and attempts to hide it, and need to move far away to start a new, anonymous life feel very much like a mutant s backstory, which is awesome for the X Men f...

  8. says:

    I really loved this book it reminded me of how much I liked the series when I was a little girl The Babysitter s Club launched when I was in fifth grade 1986 , and I bought Kristy s Great Idea off the shelf at my local Waldenbooks and eagerly awaited every new release This captures the charm of the early books which were written by Martin rather than ghostwriters , and she touches on some themes of the series i...

  9. says:

    A throwback to my childhood As I was reading, I couldn t help but think that it d be wonderful to live in Stoneybrook and be friends with these girls, especially Kristy and Mary Anne Stoneybrook feels like a different time place from the world that we know today imho There s a sense of community here neighbours talked to and trusted one another The girls also had...

  10. says:

    It was nice to take a trip down memory lane with the fab four I loved the series when I was growing up I hope this book re news interest in the books for young girls.

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