Confession: I wasn’t just a reader of the Baby-Sitter’s Club books, I was a card-carrying member of the fan club. (Membership came with a free lipstick mirror!) I obsessed over every Claudia outfit change and bump in Mary Anne’s relationship status, and dutifully reread the agonizingly repetitive club backstory that appeared at the start of every book. I was with them from the day Kristy had her great idea (well, I was 3, but I got there eventually), up to Stacey’s run in with a pack of manipulative bad girls, at which point I aged up and out of there.
The books hit shelves at the rate of about one a month until 1999, when the girls retreated into well-earned anonymity. But what if Ann M. Martin brought them out of retirement (again), and this time, she let them grow up? Maybe they’d be the stars of a New Adult series that re-freezes them in their early 20s (“Claudia’s almond-shaped brown eyes flashed as she shoplifted a pair of alpaca jeggings”). Or maybe they’d be striving 30somethings, back to teaching us lessons as only the most comfortingly familiar of characters can. Here are my votes for the next crop of BSC storylines:
Mary Anne and the One Who Got Away
After watching a “Where Are They Now?” special on washed-up teen star Cam Geary, a married Mary Anne secretly contacts former boyfriend/Cam Geary lookalike Logan Bruno on Myspace. Soon, they’re messaging each other every night, and she’s starting to think she was crazy to ever break up with him. But when she discovers that he still has ties to his former middle-school gang, the Badd Boyz, she wonders if he’ll ever really change.
Dawn and the Kitchen Disaster
Stacey, now an NYC book editor, is a big fan of Dawn’s vegan cooking blog—she even wants to offer her a book deal! But when one of Dawn’s recipes sends Stacey into a diabetic attack, she has to reexamine her reliance on agave nectar…and her priorities.
Mallory and the Plot Twist
After she refuses to acknowledge that Severus Snape was good all along, Mallory gets voted out of her book club. She tries to complain about it to Jessi, but it turns out the old hotmail address she has for her no longer works, which is weird. Will Mallory eat Mallomars for dinner again, or will she finally try that recipe off the Rice-A-Roni box?
Claudia’s Big Mistake
When Claudia accidentally adds an extra zero to the cut-crystal Santa figurine order at the Stamford craft store where she works, her mean boss lets her go. Claudia takes it as a sign that she should finally get her “Claudia’s Cool Creations” Etsy shop off the ground, but her overbearing sister, Janine, won’t loan her the $50 in startup cash that she needs. Come on, it’s 50 bucks!
Kristy and the PTA Mean Girls
Kristy, who already had mixed feelings on the whole Montessori thing, gets into a PTA message-board war with a pack of pro–pre-chewing moms. When she decides to confront them face to face, she’s appalled to discover that their queen bee, Mary Cohen, is the former Mary Anne Spiers, now a grade-A supermom! The one-time besties discover that sometimes, dredging up the past can be as painful as an afternoon spent babysitting Betsy Sobak. But reuniting with a best friend? That’s as fun as a super special!
What’s your dream plot for the grown-up adventures of everyone’s favorite baby-sitters?