Monday, November 28, 2011

The Summer Before by Ann M Martin

From Goodreads:
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 (also before they start the BSC), each of them is on the cusp of a big change. Kristy is still hung up on hoping that her father will return to her family. Mary Anne has to prove to her father that she's no longer a little girl who needs hundreds of rules. Claudia is navigating her first major crush on a boy. And Stacey is leaving her entire New York City life behind... order to find new friends in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.
The Summer Before . . . is a sweet, moving novel about four girls on the edge of something big - not just the Club that will change their lives, but also all the joys and tribulations of being twelve and thirteen.
I requested from the library The Summer Before because I was a huge Baby-Sitters Club fan back when I was a young girl. I remember rushing to the bookstore on the days the new books were released. I had a huge box that I kept all my BSC books in so I could haul them around with me in the summer. I spent my summers at my parents' work and rather than bring one or two I had to lug my whole collection with me everyday. Man, I loved those books. Especially the Super Special books where the girls took trips to the beach, New York or California. The Summer Before was a lovely trip down memory lane.
The Summer Before is the story of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacy before they start seventh grade and start the Baby-Sitters Club. If you read the BSC, The Summer Before gives you more background to the girls' lives. If you're new to the BSC, then it's a great story about four girls leaving childhood and moving into their teens. Each chapter is told from a different girl's perspective. I was glad to hear from each of them. When I was first reading the books, I really identified with Mary Anne, with an overprotective father who treated her like young child. My mom struggled to let me do age appropriate things, always erring on the side of caution. Today, reading The Summer Before, I felt more connected to Claudia, who felt that she left childhood behind and was now firmly a teen. I've been feeling like I'm leaving certain friends and habits behind like I've outgrown them. I'm in the same awkward stage where I remember them with comfort but remember that's not really who I am anymore. Overall, I enjoyed The Summer Before. The twelve year old in me cheered about reading a BSC book again. Others who shared their thoughts on The Summer Before: The Serpentine Library, My Books. My LifeBrooke's Box Of Books, and Live Through Books.
This was my twenty-eight read for the YA Reading Challenge.


  1. I never read them for some reason, could be that the library did not have them

  2. I loved this book so much more than I thought I would. Felt so great to be back in Stonybrook.

  3. I wonder if they gave these books a face-lift if the girls today would read them?


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