“Good afternoon, Baby-Sitters Club.”
Well before Netflix’s current release and even the 1995 flick staring the decade’s most ubiquitous young actresses, Rachael Leigh Cook and Larisa Oleynik, there was Ann M. Martin‘s anthology. A key part of most ’80s and ’90s kids’ adolescences, the 131-book collection, debuting in 1986, told the tales of a group of resourceful middle school-aged entrepreneurs from the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut and invokes such nostalgia that even the sight of those instantly recognizable block letters can leave us feeling some type of way.
That’s because long before we were adults proclaiming ourselves to be Carries and Charlottes or even teens choosing our Hogwarts house, we were debating which of our friends was the Kristy, the tomboyish, tell-it-like-it-is leader, the Mary-Anne, the quiet, but loyal friend, the Claudia, the artsy dreamer, and the Stacey, the impossibly sophisticated native New Yorker. (California girl Dawn, aspiring professional ballerina Jessi and bookish, practical Mallory came into play later.) And, together, we were dreaming that we, too, could take the neighborhood babysitting market by storm.
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