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 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 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 S And S, 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 , 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 Characters
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 memories and feelings Many are written about contemporary problems or events All of Ann s characters, even the members of the Baby sitters Club, are made up But many of her characters are based on real people Sometimes Ann names her characters after people she knows, and other times she simply chooses names that she likes Ann has always enjoyed writing Even before she was old enough to write, she would dictate stories to her mother to write down for her Some of her favorite authors at that time were Lewis Carroll, P L Travers, Hugh Lofting, Astrid Lindgren, and Roald Dahl They inspired her to become a writer herself Since ending the BSC series in 2000, Ann s writing has concentrated on single novels, many of which are set in the 1960s After living in New York City for many years, Ann moved to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York where she now lives with her dog, Sadie, and her cats, Gussie, Willy and Woody Her hobbies are reading, sewing, and needlework Her favorite thing to do is to make clothes for children.
- 224 pages
- The Summer Before
- Ann M. Martin
- 22 January 2019 Ann M. Martin