Now with the announcement of The Baby-Sitters Club reboot and just recently finding out that my girl Alicia Silverstone will be playing Kristy Thomas’ mom I couldn’t help thinking about the time that I first cracked open Kristy’s Great Idea from the Baby-Sitters Club series. It was the first time I moved away from Romona and the Fudge series and I was in that in-between time where I was starting to peruse through the magazine racks of Bop Magazine and Teen Beat. Being a tween girl in the nineties were the happiest times of my life because I was able to dream and fantasize in my sunflower bedspread about being part of an exclusive club, getting stuck in a haunted house, and working for the gossip column of the school newspaper while dealing with a rambunctious twin sister. Here are my vintage girl reads that changed my reading life forever.
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
For those of you that didn’t get to revel in the pure girlish joy that is the Baby-Sitters Club, it’s basically about a tomboy named Kristy Thomas who comes up with the “great idea” of starting a Baby-Sitters Club. Hence the title of the first book was born which is Kristy’s Great Idea! She gets together a group of girls with all their own lovable personalities to start a club where they take care of kids around their neighborhood of Stoneybrook, Connecticut!
The club begins with four original members in the beginning of the series but then grows and changes throughout the series. Even though the members changed the most memorable members for me will always be Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey, Dawn, Jessi, and Mallory. The Baby-Sitters Club is the first book series I ever read, and they are the books that made me the little bookworm that I am today. My favorite member was always Dawn. Dawn is one of the reasons I have an unreal obsession with California and ghost stories but inside I am really a Mary Ann. These books influenced me to torment my parents about having my own Baby-Sitters Club. Most importantly the Baby-Sitters Club has influenced me as a tween to realize that girls can accomplish anything and through success, girls can form the best friendships of their entire lives.
Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal
Sweet Valley High was one of those binge-worthy books to read back in the day before there was Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Hills! Sweet Valley High consisted of two sisters who are twins and they both share the same blonde hair and signature eyes as blue as the “Pacific Ocean.” They live in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, California and go to the drama-filled high school of Sweet Valley High. The two twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield look exactly alike but their personalities are like night and day. Elizabeth is the quintessential do-gooder who writes for the gossip column Eyes and Ears for the Sweet Valley High newspaper, loves to eat cookie dough with her best friend Enid, and has a dependable boyfriend named Todd. Jessica loves trouble, boys, and shopping. Jessica is the girl that always gets what she wants even if it means leading poor guys on like Winston, she is the cheerleader for Sweet Valley High, and never misses a good party.
Sweet Valley High are for the nineties girls pushing thirteen who are beginning to experiment with makeup in their brightly colored caboodles and wearing Dr. Pepper lip smackers. These are for the girls who sang to their Teen Beat posters of Jonathan Brandis (RIP) and dreamed of living the lives of the Wakefield sisters. Since The Baby-Sitters Club is doing a Netflix reboot, I am hoping there are talks of a Sweet Valley High reboot so they can make my nineties girl heart happy!
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
If you were a tween girl in the nineties you were probably obsessed with ghost stories and contacted Elvis Presley on your Ouija board (At least I did.) hoping he would sign your autograph. The Goosebumps series was a form of addiction for me and I couldn’t get enough of the scary stories like haunted houses, interactive choose your own adventure books, a terrifying dummy named Slappy, and being trapped in a medieval haunted tower in the middle of London. Goosebumps were the books to talk about with your best friends over a sleepover and they were the perfect stories to get you delightfully spooked over in the middle of the night.
Goosebumps is the reason why Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year and it’s the inspiration behind my first book that I wrote at twelve years old about my math teacher being a ghost!