The Baby-Sitters Club: The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin
Wow, a prequel to the Baby-Sitters Club! I haven’t thought of the BSC in years. Every girl wants to ride horses and be a baby-sitter and I was no exception. Reading this prequel immediately brought me back to Claudia’s bedroom. Everybody’s back story felt very familiar, except Stacey’s – her history and her place in the narrative revealed her to be an incredibly deep and mature middle-schooler.
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.
Separately, it’s a lot to deal with. But together, these friends will find a way to make it through – with plenty of laughter, tears, and surprises along the way.