Sunday morning, as I read the New York Times on my iPhone (there’s an app for that!), I squealed with delight when I came across the best news ever—Scholastic is reissuing the first two volumes of The Baby-Sitters Club with a new prequel written by the series’ author Ann M. Martin!
As a child who followed the public library’s summer reading contests with a religious fervor, I devoured these books and still hold them in high esteem. I always connected with the characters Mary Anne (the shy, organized one) and Claudia (the creative one–though I lacked her fashion sense) and longed for a tight knit club of my own.
Many times I have thought about collecting the series from used bookstores, but I’ve never found the space for the 100+ that I read before I moved on to Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine (none of that Goosebumps crap…only Fear Street), Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I was a dark and sullen middle schooler, huh?
However, my excitement was immediately taken down a notch when I read that the original volumes will be “slightly revised.” According to the Times:
Editors at Scholastic updated some of the references to technology and outdated fashions in the reissued books. So a “cassette player” has become “headphones” and a “perm” has become “an expensive hairstyle.”
Seriously?! Where’s the fun in rereading the series, or introducing younger generations to The Babysitters Club if some references to the 80s and 90s are erased? As an avid fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels, I don’t recall Laura riding in a “vehicle” (i.e. horse drawn wagon) or the family moving into a new “neighborhood” (i.e. the prairie).
While I will definitely check out the prequel when it is published, I have no plans to purchase or read the revised volumes. Used bookstores, here I come!