Title: The Summer Before (The Babysitters Club)
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Middle Grade
Rating: 5/5 (for what it was – obviously not the “best” book I’ve ever read)
When I first heard that a Babysitters Club prequel was being published, I didn’t think I’d have any interest in it. A reunion maybe, but why a prequel? We already know the characters’ back stories. How could an entire book about them be interesting?
Oh, how wrong I was.
First, some background. I LOVED the Babysitters Club books when I was a kid. I had more than one entire shelf on my bookcase dedicated to the series – more than any other series would ever get on that shelf (sadly, I think a lot of those books were “lost” during the eventful summer of 2008 but I will have to take a look at what my brother salvaged for me). When I had to do a report on what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be an author and did my report on Ann M. Martin. I was hooked.
By 6th or 7th grade, however, I had abandoned the books for the more grown-up writings of RL Stine and Christopher Pike. I don’t think I really looked back.
But, to borrow words from Kelly, I missed these characters without even realizing it.
After only a few pages of The Summer Before, I was completely sucked in. I didn’t have high expectations for the book other than reliving some fond childhood memories. But what I got was a well-written, funny, warm-hearted story that made me so nostalgic for these books that I wished I bought the first three reissues when I saw them last week.
A quick plot summary:
- The girls have just finished 6th grade and have their entire summers before them.
- Kristy is dealing with her mom’s new boyfriend and the hurt from her dad abandoning her.
- Mary Anne gets her first chance to babysit but still has to convince her dad she isn’t a baby.
- Claudia experiences her first boyfriend and a distance as she matures faster than her friends.
- Stacey, friendless in New York City, anxiously awaits her move to Stoneybrook where she can start over.
If you loved these books when you were a kid, I promise that you will also love this prequel.
Buy It Now: Amazon; Book Depository (32% off); Powell’s; IndieBound
I KNOW! It was so good. 🙂 I hope there are more new BSC books to come.
I had no idea Ann Martin was going to be writing this. I loved the books when I was younger. But, like you, I grew out of them around the time I turned into a teenager. I’ll definitely have to check this out sometime this summer 🙂
Hmm, I have the same thoughts you did about a prequel.. but if you say so, lol! I’ll definitely read it!!
I’m looking forward to reading this book! I think I’ll probably buy it for my best friend’s birthday gift also.
I’ve seen this around the blogsphere. My library doesn’t have it so it looks like I’ll have to buy it. Darn!
Love it..going to check it!
YAY!!! I’m reading it now and I can’t wait to finish it! 🙂
I didn’t even know this was being released! I loved these books as a kid too, this one sounds like fun.
I loved the Baby Sitters Club when I was a child as well. My library didn’t own all of the books and I was quite desperate about that (just like I hated the fact that my library owned all the books of LIttle House On The Prairie except one, I just never understood why they had to leave that one out, right in the middle of the series). Anyway, I didn’t expect to like a prequel either, but if you say so.. I’m tempted to pick it up.
I love this book even if is not the best book ever but is a good book.