"More than a book about a series of books, it is an ode to the child readers we were, and the ways we have learned to name the experiences we couldn't find written." —Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me & Girlhood A nostalgia-packed, star-studded anthology featuring contributors such as Kristen Arnett, Yumi Sakugawa, Gabrielle Moss, and others exploring the lasting impact of the beloved Baby-Sitters Club series In 1986, the first-ever meeting of the Baby-Sitters Club was called to order in a messy bedroom strewn with Ring-Dings, scrunchies, and a landline phone. Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne launched the club that birthed an entire generation of loyal readers. The Baby-Sitters Club series featured a diverse, complex cast of characters and touched on an impressive range of issues that were underrepresented at the time: divorce, adoption, childhood illness, class division, and racism, to name a few. In We Are the Baby-sitters Club, writers and a few visual artists from Generation BSC will reflect on the enduring legacy of Ann M. Martin's beloved series, thirty-five years later—celebrating the BSC's profound cultural influence. Contributors include author Gabrielle Moss, illustrator Siobhán Gallagher, and filmmaker Sue Ding, as well as New York Times bestselling author Kristen Arnett, Lambda Award–finalist Myriam Gurba, Black Girl Nerds founder Jamie Broadnax, and Paris Review contributor Frankie Thomas.The first anthology of its kind from editors Marisa Crawford and Megan Milks, We Are the Baby-Sitters Club will look closely at how Ann M. Martin's series shaped our ideas about gender politics, friendship, fashion and beyond—and what makes the series still a core part of many readers' identities so many years later.
Poet Crawford (Reversible) and fiction writer Milks (Kill Marguerite and Other Stories) collect heartwarming reflections on the influence of Ann M. Martin's famed Babysitters Club series in this reverent anthology. As they write, "We are all the legacy of these books, which taught us to see young people's lives as serious business," and the essays and art on offer consider the books' messages about friendship, work, family, race, gender, and sexuality. In "Fun with Role-Play," Kristen Arnett reflects on how the series allowed her to escape her reality as a queer child in an ultrareligious home. Artist Yumi Sakugawa contributes an astonishing graphic essay about her love of Claudia Kishi, an Asian American series character, and in "Scripts of Girlhood: Handwriting and the Baby-Sitters Club," Kelly Blewett investigates how the handwriting of each club member tells a story of gender performance. While the anthology is deeply nostalgic, each piece does a fine job of balancing tenderness with critique: "Getting Over Claudia and Calories," for example, sees Jennifer Epperson describing how the series' obsession with thinness affected her relationship with her body. Sentimental but never cloying, this anthology will hit home for readers who grew up with the series.