The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

31 Heroines of March 2012: The Baby Sitters Club

The Baby Sitters Club – Friends and Young Entrepreneurs 

In 1996 at 10 years old I discovered Kristy, Mary-Anne, Claudia, Stacey, Dawn, Jesse and Mallory – collectively known as the Baby Sitters Club (or BSC). The BSC were a group of early teenage girls who, despite coming from a range of backgrounds with diverse interests, were friends. They started their own neighbourhood babysitting agency while juggling friendships, families, artistic pursuits, extra-curricular activities, and the occasional love life. The books might be scoffed at as fluff, but the positive messages I took from them – responsibility, teamwork, problem-solving, economic independence and balancing a ‘career’ with personal life  negated the lack of challenging vocabulary. 

Perhaps inspired by the girls’ I saved my pocket money and scoured secondhand bookstores, garage sales, and library clearances for unread copies. The BSC was my first real exposure to many Americanisms. Without it I could have easily embarrassed myself not knowing what PBJ stands for. It is also connected with my first ideas about fashion and style—even now my clothing choices reflect a combination of kooky Claudia and sophisticated Stacey.

As I headed for high school, author Ann M. Martin finished the series. It was nice to feel like the BSC were growing up with me. Nowadays if I come across an old BSC book I can’t resist flicking through it – it’s like visiting a trusted friend who reminds me of what it was like to be ten again.

Briar Barry

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