The Summer Before (The Baby-Sitters Club Series)

The Summer Before (The Baby-Sitters Club Series)

4.2 14
by Ann M. Martin
     
 

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The BSC returns in this fantastic prequel from Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin

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

Overview


The BSC returns in this fantastic prequel from Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin

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...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Written by turn in the voice of each girl, Martin's thoughtfully crafted prequel to the Baby-sitters Club brings the series' four protagonists through an emotional, often bumpy summer. On the eve of seventh grade, each feels stranded. Feisty Kristy resents the presence of her divorced mother's boyfriend, and thinks she's the only one in her “oh-so-happy” family who still misses her father. Shy Mary Anne begins to feel smothered by her overprotective single father, who still selects her clothes and refuses to let her babysit by herself. Both girls feel abandoned by free-spirited Claudia, whose preoccupation with her first boyfriend also alienates her older sister (who liked him first). Chiming in from a distance, Stacey is friendless in New York City and looks forward to starting a new life when she moves to Stoneybrook, Conn. Despite some passages that readers may find dated (“So we spent an enjoyable two hours swinging on the swings...”; “My gifts were lovely”), Martin credibly and affectingly blends the friends' stories and resolves their issues, while deftly foreshadowing what lies ahead. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Do you remember the Baby-sitters Club? Kristy Thomas? Mary Anne Spier? Claudia Kishi? Stacey McGill? How about Ann M. Martin, the author who first told their tales? If you do, you're showing your age. It's been more than a decade since a new BSC volume was published, and the series began in 1986. It's a good bet that most of the series' readers are probably of an age that they would need baby-sitters for their own children now! But that doesn't mean the stories are less relevant or meaningful today than they were in years past. If you're looking to share the stories of your youth with your own budding readers, there is good news. You're in luck. The popular series is being reissued for a new generation of readers. The stories will be updated for changes in fashion and technology, but will remain true to the originals' themes and struggles. There's one exception: this brand-new book, an addition to the series. With this brand-new prequel, series originator Martin sets the scene. We meet Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey during the summer before they form the Baby-sitters Club. Kristy is struggling to accept that her father has left the family. Mary Anne is trying to get her widowed father to accept that she is old enough and responsible enough for her childhood rules to be loosened. Claudia is experiencing "first love," with a crush on an older boy her sister likes. Stacey is saying good-bye to her New York City life and moving to Stoneybrook, where she will meet the other girls. All are on the edge of something new and wonderful—the BSC, the development of their friendships, and their shared tween experiences. Readers will find this a good warm-up to a series about a realistic set of girls with true-to-life struggles. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
Kirkus Reviews
The Baby-Sitters Club returns! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey take turns describing the summer after sixth grade, before their club began. Kristy's mother's dates with Watson become more frequent, Mary Anne chafes at father's rules, Claudia gets a boyfriend and Stacey moves from New York to Stoneybrook. This prequel is smoothly integrated with the familiar series; the first three have been lightly brought up-to-date and will be reissued for a new generation of readers. During the summer Kristy deludes herself that her absentee father will take note of her 12th birthday; Mary Anne struggles to get permission to babysit on her own; Stacey describes how her best friend turned on her, after she developed diabetes; Claudia's focus on Frankie, a rising ninth grader whose usual friends are out of town, sets her at odds with old friends and even her sister. These family and friendship issues will be familiar to today's middle-grade girls, who will identify with at least one of the characters as closely as their mothers did. Book candy at its best. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545160933
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Series:
Baby-Sitters Club Series
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
220,210
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.89(d)
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club series sold over 176 million copies and inspired a generation of young readers. Her novels include the Main Street series, BELLE TEAL, the Newbery Honor book A CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE, HERE TODAY, A DOG'S LIFE, and ON CHRISTMAS EVE, as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S, LONGER LETTER LATER and SNAIL MAIL NO MORE with Paula Danziger, and THE DOLL PEOPLE and THE MEANEST DOLL IN THE WORLD, written with Laura Godwin and illustrated by Brian Selznick. She lives in upstate New York.

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Summer Before 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I loved the Baby-sitters Club when I was a kid and I was curious. I think it is a great book for kids because it deals with issues that come up in a twelve year-old's life so well--first date, first boy-girl party, the rift that can come up between friends when they grow up and change interests at different rates, changing schools, moving to a new town, figuring out who your friends really are. It also sheds light on problems people of all ages have such as Kristy wanting her distant father to be more involved and Mary-Anne finding out about the mother she never knew. I think it is age appropriate for children and that almost any child would find something they could relate to or enjoy by reading it.
EllMB More than 1 year ago
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. You would really enjoy it, if you like realistic fiction and stories about girls! You have to read it! Really!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Ever wondered what the girls of the Baby-Sitters Club were like before KRISTY'S BIG IDEA? How Kristy's mom met her step-dad? A prequel to the original series, these four girls will do a lot of growing up before Kristy comes up with her great idea for the Club. The summer before seventh grade is not going as well as Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey thought it would. Kristy's mom is dating a new guy, but Kristy still hopes her dad will come back and pick up where their family left off. Claudia is having her first major crush, but does her crush like her back? Mary Anne is fighting with her dad and trying to get him to realize she's not a little girl anymore. Stacey is moving from everything she ever knew in New York. Will it be worth it? Will she make new friends? An endearing, great addition to THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB series. The characters are true to their original natures and are well-developed. The plot holds the reader's interest and paints a great picture of these four girls' lives. Readers who like realistic fiction, the BSC series, and stories about love and growing up will enjoy reading THE SUMMER BEFORE.
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LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
This book is a never-before released prequel to The Baby-Sitters Club. My daughter was really excited about this. The book is written from the first-person POV of all four girls. It does this by dedicating alternating chapters to each girl, allowing the reader to get to know each character's story as related by them. My daughter pointed out that she liked this. The book gives the reader more background information about each of the four girls, building up to when they all start school and eventually join together to make The Baby-Sitters Club. My only concern was when Claudia turned twelve and had a crush on Frankie, a boy two years older. They started hanging out together, and she was thrilled to be his girlfriend. Her parents allowed this, and although we could sense their discomfort, never once does a parent discuss dating with Claudia. Let me tell you my warning bells went off. This led to a pleasant discussion with my daughter about when to start dating and why. Thankfully, Claudia's relationship with Frankie was platonic-no kissing or even handholding-and it was over by the end of summer. We can see by the story that although all four girls are the same age, they have different issues and are dealing with them according to their level of maturity. This is realistic, whatever the issue. As in the case of dating, Kristy and Mary Anne wouldn't ever think of going out with a boy at age twelve while Claudia did. As a parent, it opened up my eyes to the concerns of young girls who need a measure of independence (such as baby-sitting and earning some pocket money) along with the guidance only a loving parent can give. Friendships, moving to another city, loss of a parent, divorce, dating, and growing up are some of the themes that run through this book. It was a great mother and daughter read with plenty of things to talk about afterwards.
MamaWifeRN More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED the Baby Sitters Club series and Baby Sitters Club Little Sister series as a child. I was very excited when I learned Ann M. Martin was reprinting the series and publishing a prequel. My oldest daughter just turned seven and I am very excited to introduce her to the series. I was about her age when I started reading them myself and spent many, many hours lost in the world of the Baby Sitters Club. I still have most of my collection in my parents attic, which I will be getting out soon for my daughter to enjoy. Of course, I will purchase any that are missing or new additions to the series. What an exciting find!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_Michelle More than 1 year ago
Growing up, I loved the BSC. While browsing through books I was shocked to see a new BSC. It concentrates on the 4 main members (Kristy, Mary Ann, Claudia and Stacey) and gives the story of what happened before they became the BSC. Ann M Martin does not fail to please her loyal fans of the series. I myself could not get enough of it and hope Ann M Martin writes more of the BSC characters, maybe some books of them finally being in high school. This book will please vetern BSC fans but will also be enjoyed by first time readers of the BSC.
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