Press release provided to the The Children’s Book Review by Scholastic
Published: January 12, 2009
Image courtesy of Scholastic (circa 1986)
“The Summer Before,”
a prequel to the phenomenally successful Scholastic series,
to be published in April 2010
New York, NY (December 31, 2009) — Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced today that it will publish an original new novel in the beloved bestselling series The Baby-sitters Club® by acclaimed author Ann M. Martin. “The Summer Before” (ISBN: 978-0-545-16093-3; $16.99), a prequel to the first book in the series, will be released in hardcover in April 2010.
Scholastic also announced plans to re-issue new paperback editions of the original The Baby-sitters Club books starting in April 2010 with “Kristy’s Great Idea” (ISBN: 978-0-545-17475-6; $5.99) and “Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls” (ISBN: 978-0-545-17476-3; $5.99), followed by “The Truth About Stacey” (ISBN: 978-0-545-17477-0; $5.99) in June. Additional titles will follow in fall 2010.
The Baby-sitters Club is one of the most successful series in publishing history with more than 176 million books in print. Ann M. Martin spent the latter part of the 1980s and most of the 1990s working on the series, which was supposed to debut in 1986 and end in 1987, and to consist of only four titles. Instead, it ended 15 years later, with four additional related series, approximately 250 titles, spawned a TV series as well as a feature film, and prompted girls around the world to start their own baby-sitters clubs.
“The stories about children who discovered a love of reading when they read The Baby-sitters Club are the ones that have had the greatest impact on me as a writer,” said author Ann M. Martin. “Writing about these characters and stepping back into the world of Stoneybrook was like having a reunion with old friends—friends who truly haven’t changed a bit. I’m very excited about introducing The Baby-sitters Club to a new generation of readers.”
The BSC series, which dealt with topics about friendship, sibling rivalry, and peer pressure, also tackled serious issues including divorce, diabetes, and death. The acclaim and success soared. The Baby-sitters Club became the first children’s series to appear on the USA Today bestseller list. The New York Times Magazine hailed Martin as a, “genius in communicating with girls when and after they slip behind the glass curtain of preadolescence…Martin gets children to read.” Time magazine wrote, “Adventures in baby-sitting…must-read literature for preteen girls,” and Parents magazine praised, “Girls can’t get enough of The Baby-sitters Club…aren’t these the kinds of role models we want for our daughters…we all need friends like that.” Publishers Weekly proclaimed, “Ann Martin rules the paperback roost” and USA Today exclaimed, “Young readers love ‘Baby-sitters.’” In 1998, The Baby-sitters Club was named one of the “Books of the Century” by the New York Times Book Review.
“I grew up at Scholastic working on The Baby-sitters Club, starting in 1992 as an intern,” said David Levithan, Vice President, Editorial Director, Scholastic Press, who now oversees the editorial direction of the series. “One of the amazing things to witness over the past twenty years has been how many other people grew up on the BSC, too – as readers. The series truly got an entire generation – especially the girls – to read. And it’s a thrill to be able to introduce that excitement about books to a new generation.”
“The characters in The Baby-sitters Club could be any kids, living anywhere, whether in America or abroad, and the universal theme of friendship rings true for an audience of the 80s, 90s, now and beyond,” said Debra Dorfman, Vice President and Publisher of Paperbacks, Cartwheel and Licensed Publishing, Scholastic, who oversees the paperback publishing program for the BSC re-issues. “Some of the millions of girls who grew up devouring these books are now mothers, teachers, and perhaps writers themselves. We look forward to sharing the stories of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey with both old and new fans of the series.”
About “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, each of them is getting ready for big changes. Kristy is still hoping that her father will return to her family. Mary Anne has to prove that she’s no longer a little girl. Claudia is navigating her first major crush. 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 moving novel about four girls on the edge of something big—not just the club that will change their lives, but also the joys and tribulations of being a girl.
About Ann M. Martin:
Ann M. Martin is the bestselling author of the momentous series The Baby-sitters Club, as well as the Main Street series. Her other acclaimed novels include “A Dog’s Life,” “Belle Teal,” “The Doll People,” and the Newbery Honor Book “A Corner of the Universe.” She lives in upstate New York. For more information, visit www.scholastic.com/annmartin/bsc.
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