Rereading My Childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club #23: Dawn on the Coast

I love California. I love the coastal cities with museums and attractions and the laid-back energy of the influential surfer culture. I love the areas outside the cities, where perfect rows of crops grow along the highway. I love the deep woods with dense trees and the mountains with snow-covered tops or thick greenery, depending on the time of year and global warming. I even love the colored layers of rock that make the jagged hills in the middle of the desert. California is a diverse place with diverse people, so when I saw that the next book is about Dawn’s return to the left coast, honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Ann M. Martin’s depictions of Californians have been less than stellar. For example, we have yard sales. That’s not exclusive to the east coast.

This book has the dubious distinction of being the first BSC book not written by Ann M. Martin herself. That’s the thing about the BSC — Ann M. Martin may have had her name on the cover, but most of the books were ghostwritten. If there’s one thing Stine has on Martin, it’s that at least he wrote all the Goosebumps and Fear Street books. So, it’s Jan Carr’s turn with the BSC, and this time, we’re taken away from Stoneybrook, and we’re traveling to California.

Dawn’s mother is shipping Dawn back to California for spring break while dreaming about avocados, as if they’re unavailable in Connecticut, apparently.

Before Dawn returns to California (regretfully referred to as “C-Day” — the regret is not on her part — it’s on mine, for reading it) the BSC throws a going-away party at Kristy’s mansion. The whole BSC is invited, of course, as well as Karen and Andrew, because nothing says party like a six-year-old. Meanwhile, Watson says weird stuff.

“Excuse me. Excuse me.” Someone was pushing his way through the crowd. It was Watson Brewer, home from work. “Well,” he said, as he took a look at the chaos that greeted him. “Five more daughters, huh? Where did I get them all? Hello, girls.”

What a dorkass nerd.

The girls eat pizza and watch Fright Night at Spook Lake, a movie that only exists in Scholastic books from the eighties. Then the party is over and it’s time for Dawn to get a good night’s rest for the plane ride the next day.

Dawn’s mother sees her off at the gate, which is still weird for me to read. Then Dawn lets us know how flight attendants work. She talks to an old man, which made me uncomfortable. Hey, Dawn, don’t fall asleep on the plane if you’re sitting next to an old man. Especially if he’s some kind of producer, which this man claimed to be.

When Dawn lands, her brother, Jeff, and her father are waiting for her while singing “California Girls.” Since this is 1989, I’m assuming it’s the Beach Boys song, not the Katy Perry song. This makes the context gross since the Beach Boys had a strange resurgence in the ’90s that displayed sixty-year-old men dancing around eighteen-year-olds in their music videos. Disgusting. I don’t care if Pet Sounds changed your life, Mike Love should not be trying to pick up twenty-year-olds at a Tr*mp ne0-N*zi rally.

One of the first things that Dawn’s father does is take his children to Disneyland. Now, remember, this is 1980s Disneyland, so I guess we have to read a list of every Disneyland area and ride because cultural osmosis hasn’t reached the BSC audience, I guess. It’s an amusement park with Mickey, you don’t need to know the name of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as it has no relevance to the plot. Anyway, Dawn buys ears for each member of the BSC, so she spent the money saved for her first year at a state university. After they watch Captain Eo, Jeff starts moonwalking everywhere, which is hilarious to Dawn. They also go on the Mark Twain Riverboat (they call it the “steamboat”) and Dawn imagines she’s the man himself coming up with stories. That boat is an excuse to sit down for fifteen minutes to get away from the crowds. Finally, they do something that appeals to me.

Haunted Mansion is right up my (spooky, ghost-ridden) alley. On the outside it’s an old New Orleans house. You know the kind. It has those wrought-iron, curlicue trellises bordering all the porches. Inside, though, it’s a real spook house. To go through, you get in a Doom Buggy. Sound creepy? That’s the least of all of it. Ghost Shadows are cast on all the walls, and eerie music plays in the background. Upstairs, in the attic, there’s about an inch of dust on everything. I’m telling you, one trip through Haunted Mansion equals about ten good ghost stories. And I ought to know.

Really, Dawn? You ought to know if The Haunted Mansion is scary? First of all, I’m about to be pedantic, so strap in. Secondly, my love for The Haunted Mansion knows no bounds. Thirdly, it’s The Haunted Mansion. Haunted Mansion with no “The” is the cheap version at the County Fair whose most advanced animatronic is a skeleton on a stick. Fourthly, (it’s definitely “fourthly”), eerie music only plays at the beginning, but when you get to the graveyard scene, you get “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” which slaps. Fifthly and finally, you don’t know horror stories until you’ve got a woman tied to an oven who gets dough stuffed in her mouth until she suffocates. That’s horror. I guess that’s too intense for a kid’s book.

Back to the book, they watch some old black-and-white silent cartoons and Dawn’s father says that those cartoons are better than the current cartoons. I don’t think so, Mr. Schafer. Are you seriously telling me that these thirty-second cartoons that feature a simple story about getting a haircut with an aperitif of racial stereotypes are better than, say, Duck Tales, The Brave Little Toaster, or My Neighbor Totoro, all of which were contemporary to this book? No human not drowning in nostalgia would say that. And how old are you? You’re nostalgic for cartoons from the twenties and you’re a boomer? That’s as if I were nostalgic about Archie, a cartoon that has never been contemporary for me.

After Disneyland, Dawn’s best friend on the west coast, Sunny, invites Dawn to her house for a surprise. The surprise is the capitalist notion of working! I’m not kidding. Turns out Sunny, along with two other girls started their own baby-sitting business — the We ♥ Kids Club. I wouldn’t trust any business in which I had to use the Special Characters menu just to type the name. The club even has Kid-Kits filled with healthy cookbooks for children.

After the call, Sunny wandered off to the kitchen and brought us back a snack — apple slices with natural peanut butter.

It’s true, I thought. I really am back in California. This was a far cry from Claudia’s Ding Dongs.

Did you know that Ding Dongs were outlawed in California after the Great Ding Dong Massacre? What are you talking about, ghostwriter Jan? Californians eat Ding Dongs. Californians can eat sugar and crap, also. And on another note, California is the most diverse state in the union. How are all of Dawn’s friends blonde, white people? What are you implying about California? Or worse, what are you implying about Dawn and her family?

Luckily, the showrunners of the Netflix The Baby-Sitters Club present California Dawn in a more diverse light. I’m convinced that ghostwriter Jan has never been to California.

Maybe I’m being too hard on Jan. Even though the books were ghostwritten, the ghostwriters did use Ann M. Martin’s ideas and notes. I know Martin has never been to California, so maybe she just didn’t realize how diverse and special California was and still is.

Anyway, Dawn can’t take a break, even while on vacation, so she takes a job for the club. Yeah, kids, you understand? Even if you’re on vacation, you can’t escape your job. You can have your silly little hobbies like relaxation, but when the job calls, you can’t turn it down. You need to get used to working forever with no breaks. Gotta make that money so your boss can buy a media outlet and an abortion over state lines for his third mistress.

Back in Stoneybrook, Claudia and Mary Anne babysit for the Newtons and some of their cousins. There are chili shenanigans. Everything goes fine and no one has weird conceptions about California.

Speaking of which, Dawn, her father, the We ♥ Kids Club, Jeff, and Jeff’s friend, go to the beach, and Dawn remarks that they’re all blond, which made them a “stereotypical California group.” Again, I’d like to refer you to a U.S. News & World Report about California’s diversity. You’d find more blonde people in Stoneybrook, Connecticut than on that beach, especially considering the same study found that some of the least diverse states were New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, which are all close to Connecticut. (On another note, my state, Nevada, was ranked as the ninth most diverse state, so that’s nice!)

Lest you think I’m nitpicking on the blonde thing, the next pages are filled with passages about how blond they are. Dawn’s father says they look like the “Swedish delegation.” Dawn calls them by saying, “Blondes over here!” The girls put stuff in their hair to make themselves even blonder. It’s like, geez, I get it. You’re Aryan. No need to dwell on it.

Dawn and her father take some time out to connect since they haven’t gotten an opportunity since Dawn arrived. They talk about school, Jeff, Dawn’s mother, and the secret passage in Dawn’s house. Dawn figures out that her father is lonely, but Jeff throws some animals at them before Dawn could have a full conversation about loneliness. Then Dawn’s father says, “Blonde convention, ho!” which is the signal that it’s time to leave as well as an awkward thing to say.

The next day (or possibly later that day — time is strange in this book), Dawn babysits for two children named Daffodil and Clover, because of course they’re named that. We need to throw in all kinds of California stereotypes, and that includes the hippies, even though they were usually scattered around San Francisco, not Los Angeles. What are we going to have next? Random celebrities? Taco shops? Governor recall elections?

Anyway, Dawn takes them to a carnival. They play some darts and go on rides. There’s a woman dressed in jeans and cowboy boots leading a pony around. Clover thinks of herself as an “Indian brave.” That’s problematic thinking there, hippie kid. But what can we expect from the least diverse group of Californians?

Meanwhile, Jessi babysits for Karen, David Michael, and Andrew. The boys are building a Lego city while Karen wants to play “Let’s All Come In,” which is a terrible game and is also not a game. In case you don’t remember, it’s a non-game where Karen makes people pretend to enter a hotel and they are forced to tell everyone why they are in the hotel. You never tell people where you’re staying or why you’re staying somewhere. It’s a security thing, Karen. You don’t announce yourself in hotels, you don’t announce your room number, and you don’t talk to weirdos hanging out in the lobby. Geez, it’s almost like you’re six or something and you’re not concerned with security while traveling for your corporation.

While looking for outfits to wear during the nongame, Karen has to go to the third floor, which is where Ben Brewer the ghost lives. Karen finds some notes from the ghost himself and she is spooked. Jessi figures out that Kristy’s older brother Sam planted the notes for Karen to find, ensuring that Ben Brewer will forever haunt the third floor of this mansion.

Kristy babysits for the Pikes. We learn that the Pike parents don’t have many rules, in particular, and if the kids want to stay in their pajamas, that’s no problem. Somehow this annoys the narrator. My sister and I had that leniency in my childhood — and it’s turned me into a drug abuser! I’m just kidding, but as an adult, I do stay in pajamas if I’m not going anywhere.

The Pikes eat some ravioli and coleslaw, and then there’s a cookie adventure. Then they start writing secret messages to each other. Nicky runs to his hideout and says that he misses Dawn and writes her a letter. I guess that’s enough to convince Dawn to return to Connecticut. How long is this Spring Break? Dawn can receive correspondence from across the country. What is time in this book?

As a going-away celebration, Dawn’s father takes Dawn and Jeff to a Mexican restaurant, where we see the only people of color in all of California, according to this book. On the way home on the airplane, there isn’t a creepy man, so that’s nice.

When Dawn arrives in Stoneybrook, which has its own airport with direct flights to Los Angeles, but only one movie theater that plays only one movie, the whole club is waiting for her at the gate. They gush over her tan, ask about the other baby-sitting club, and ask about Disneyland. Dawn is confident in her decision to stay in Stoneybrook . . . at least until the California Diaries series (I’m getting there — I’m getting there, this is a hobby).

It’s fun to see the baby-sitters outside of their usual setting of Stoneybrook. New situations bring new adventures and seeing how our favorite characters react to the unknown, feelings of loneliness and homesickness, and reconnecting with the past make for a good story. However, I have some serious problems with this book.

The most obvious and glaring issue is Disneyland. I’m kidding. It’s an issue, but it’s not the issue. The biggest problem with the book is its depiction of California diversity — or lack thereof. Again, California is diverse — it’s not only blonde, white people everywhere. I’d argue that that depiction is more appropriate for Connecticut than California.

The state is more than beaches, Mexican food, hippies, and Disneyland. Not just California as a whole, but Los Angeles itself has more to it than the stereotypical things. This wouldn’t be such an issue if it was only this book (there’s only so much you can fit into 120 pages), but the overreliance on stereotypes is central to Dawn’s character, and this book emphasizes The Dawn Problem. Not all Californians eat healthy food, not all of them are blonde, and not all of them love the beach — and that’s the only depiction of the west coast we have in The Baby-Sitters Club. And that’s how all Californians are portrayed, even while Dawn is physically in California.

I hope that the California Diaries show the true diversity of California. Until then, I’ll try to remember Dawn’s good qualities — she’s capable, nice, independent, and an individual. That’s the true spirit of the west.

For a list of every Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, and Fear Street book review I have written, go to RereadingMyChildhood.com. To listen to the official podcast, just visit the website or search for “Rereading My Childhood” in your favorite podcatcher. For more information about me, Amy A. Cowan, visit my website AmyACowan.com or follow my Twitter: amyacowan.

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Rereading My Childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House

Rereading My Childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey

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The neighborhood kids once feared me. When I strolled up and down the street with my dark clothes, fortune telling paraphernalia, and a book of spells under my arm, kids made way for me, for they knew they were in the presence of a powerful individual. At any moment, my eyes rolled up and I got a message from “The Other Side.” The place where mere mortals dare not tread. I saw the harbinger ghosts standing behind the other children. I tried to warn them, but they failed to heed my words. Those kids disappeared and the ones who knew to listen to me continued to exist.

At least that was how I perceived myself for a summer when I was a kid. The fortune-telling paraphernalia was a coin and a deck of playing cards. The spellbook was a child’s introduction to fortune telling and the paranormal and I had to return it to the library in four weeks. I didn’t see any ghosts – I pretended to see dead grandparents and people who died under mysterious circumstances in the neighborhood houses. If all the ghosts I claimed to see actually existed, that would mean every house in my neighborhood had at least three mysterious deaths per house. That would make the neighborhood the most dangerous neighborhood in America, but children don’t really think about statistics. The children who mysteriously disappeared just moved away.

I have always been fascinated with the paranormal or the weird. I wanted a secret passage in my house. I wanted to see a ghost. I wanted to be a part of a mystery. I still want a secret passage in my house and if I ever built my own house, I’d request a swinging bookcase. I still want to see a ghost and if something says “haunted,” I’m the first in line (I still haven’t seen a ghost). I still want to be a part of a mystery, preferably on a train.

When the baby-sitters go poking through Dawn’s house attempting to find a mystery, I smiled to myself. If I were them, I’d be the one to instigate the whole thing. The Ghost at Dawn’s House is a fun mystery book with a secret passage and a ghost. I enjoyed it, even if Nicky annoys me.

SPOILERS AFTER THE COVER!

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My copy of The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House – Ghosts are very safety conscious, we all know they require handrails in order to haunt a place.

The Baby-Sitters Club #9 – The Ghost at Dawn’s House starts with the first BSC meeting after Dawn returns from her trip to California and a little casual racism. She regales the other babysitters about her father, referring to him as “Disneyland Dad” because he took her and her younger brother Jeff to the eponymous amusement park while they were there in an attempt to make up for the time he wasn’t spending with his children. Then Dawn describes Claudia (who is Asian) as “exotic-looking.” C’mon, Dawn (actually Ann M. Martin), you’re better than that. Asians aren’t exotic – there are billions of them. There are more Asians than white people. Even more than blonde people, so, really, Dawn, you’re the exotic one.

But I guess it was the 80’s and, apparently, world statistics wasn’t invented yet, so I guess I’ll give them a pass. But seriously, this will be a recurring issue in these books. It’s nice and progressive to have an Asian character, but can we stop calling her “exotic.” If she had purple eyes, blue skin, and a proclivity for eating paste, then I’d call her “exotic.” Until Claudia exhibits something actually “exotic,” I’ll just call her “Asian-American.” But I do love that dragon bracelet!

These girls are dedicated to baby-sitting. Dawn baby-sat her father’s friend’s kids, Claudia baby-sat some kid while she was on vacation to a ski house, Kristy baby-sat her siblings, and we know who Mary Anne and Stacey baby-sat (see #8). A lot of baby-satting (this is intentional) going around.

Now that’s out of the way, we can finally get to the meaty part of the story, which starts with a stormy night at home with Dawn and Jeff. Their mother is on a date, which, for a book that describes Claudia as “exotic,” is pretty progressive. Stoneybrook has been inundated with thunder and rain, which makes Dawn nervous, especially in her home.

“I stood still and listened. I could hear little rustlings. Far away, thunder rumbled. I shivered. I love our old house and the barn, but sometimes they give me the creeps. They were built in 1795, and there’s just something spooky about a place that’s been around that long. So many people have lived here. . . . Some of them have probably died here, too. Right in the house or the barn.

This house sounds dope. I live in the west, so our haunted houses are usually from the Gunsmoke days – nothing that was around when Aaron Burr (Sir) shot Alexander Hamilton. Well, there were things, but white people came in and forced the Natives to leave while the white people tore down perfectly good structures.

The next day, Dawn invites the BSC over to, in Dawn’s exact word, “search for a hidden passage.” That’s something a group of young girls would do, especially since Dawn’s house is so old. Much to their chagrin, the girls find nothing but hijinks where they scare each other.

Now we have our first handwriting chapter. This time, it’s Mary Anne at the Perkinses – the people who purchased Kristy’s old home. Myriah is older than her sister Gabbie, who is nicknamed “The Gabbers.” That is an amazing nickname. I would love to be called “The Gabbers.” My name isn’t Gabby, but I would still love to be called “The Gabbers.”

Mary Anne is apprehensive about the Perkinses. Her best-friend, Kristy, once lived in that house. Mary Anne and Kristy used to be able to talk to each other via their bedroom windows. Now some weird family has taken over the domain that once belonged to Mary Anne’s best-friend, forcing her to use the doorbell like someone who hasn’t considered the place a second home for most of her life. She is understandably upset about this. But, being the nice responsible person that she is, Mary Anne has a good time with the girls, playing games and coloring with them. The Gabbers hands Mary Anne a picture that looks like a “huge, jumbled scribble.” Mary Anne responds in the best way:

“That’s lovely!” Mary Anne exclaimed. She was about to ask, “What is it?” when she remembered something we Baby-Sitters Club members had thought up. Instead of saying “What is it?” when we can’t tell what a picture or an art project is, we say, “Tell me about it.” That way, the kid doesn’t know we can’t tell, so his feelings aren’t hurt, and he tells us what the pictures so we don’t say anything dumb about it, like “I’ve never seen such a big elephant,” when it turns out to be a picture of the kid’s grandmother or something.
“Tell me about it,” Mary Anne said to Gabbie.

That’s some clever shit. It spares the kid embarrassment and it spares the sitter from insulting the kid.

Dawn sits for the Mob family – er, I mean, the Pikes – and learns that Nicky has a new rule where he can leave the house but can only travel as far a two-block radius around the Pike house. Nicky disappears but reappears, dirty but in one piece, after a quick search.

Dawn goes home after her babysitting scare and tries to relax by reading in the barn behind her house. She falls through a trap door and finds an actual secret passage from the barn to her room – just behind the fancy molding. She also finds three mysterious items – a button, a buckle, and a key.

I knew it. I just knew it: Our house was haunted. It was haunted by the ghost of the secret passage. No one was going to believe it, but it was true. I remembered the rapping noises I had heard the night of the storm. Now I knew what had really made them.

That’s a logical conclusion. Trash in a secret passage? It’s a ghost. Although, my first instinct was that it was a rat or some other subterranean rodent moving trash around. The automatic supernatural conclusion is something a twelve-year-old (as well as some adults who watch too many ghost hunting shows) would land on.

The next chapter is a handwriting one in which Kristy baby-sits for Karen, Andrew, and David Michael during a rainy night. Karen wants to tell scary stories, but Kristy wants to tell jokes. She proceeds to tell that stupid knock-knock joke that involves a damn banana. Martin chooses not to paraphrase the joke but to actually write out the whole joke. As if everyone hasn’t already heard that joke a million times before they enter school. I wonder if Martin had to fill a page quota and was short half a page.

Karen tells a scary story about Ben Brewer, the ghost of the third floor. It freaks out Kristy a little. The four of them (plus Boo-Boo the cat and Louie the dog) end up falling asleep together. Kristy’s brothers make fun of her, and Kristy feels silly falling asleep with her siblings, but she’s just being a good older sister, and her brothers should shut the hell up.

Back to Dawn. She tells Jeff about the secret passage from Dawn’s room one night while Dawn’s mom is out on another date (get it, guuurrrll). They find a Buffalo-head nickel and an ice cream cone. They don’t make it to the barn – they hear weird noises and run out. Ms. Schafer comes home with her date. (His name is Trip, which is a ridiculous name for a date let alone a human being.) Ms. Schafer orders her children to stay out of the passage until they can find some way to seal the openings. Her date leaves and she goes to bed.

Dawn can’t sleep, so she rummages through her mother’s things. She finds a book from her grandmother entitled A History of Stoneybrooke. Dawn flips to the conspicuously named “Legends” section of the book. Basically, some guy named Jared Mullray a long ass time ago didn’t want to leave his property and just disappeared. Dawn believes that the property Old Mullray refused to leave is her house. This leads her to another completely rational and not-at-all jumpy conclusion:

There really was a ghost in our secret passage, and that ghost was crazy Jared Mullray!

Of course he is. But he’s not malicious. There’s no record of Ol’ Jared attacking anyone, and it’s not as if he was murdered. He just didn’t want to leave. While he did disappear, there isn’t any indication of foul play or something malicious afoot. Dawn’s house doesn’t have a history of people running away or a string of suspicious accidents. The ghost, if he is haunting Dawn’s secret passage, isn’t a malevolent specter keeping people off his property, but one of those old people who won’t leave their house even though a park needs to be built in an old neighborhood and the city offered them a good sum of money. It’s his house and if he wants to stay in it and annoy everyone, he can because he’s a ghost and there’s not much you can do about a persistent ghost.

Chapter 10 is about Claudia’s baby-sitting adventure with Jamie and Lucy Newton. Lucy goes to sleep immediately, but Jamie attempts to stay up later with kid shenanigans, like asking for more stories and water. He eventually goes to sleep.

Dawn invites Mary Anne over and we have the first mention of “Cam Geary” the “Corey Haim/Feldman” of the BSC universe. That person might be Justin Bieber for a younger person. For my sister, he was Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. It was Jonathan Taylor Thomas for me. For Mary Anne Spier, it’s Cam Geary.

After looking at the teen heartthrob in Tiger Beat or Bop or Tiger Bop, (whatever the kids are reading) Dawn invites Mary Anne into the secret passage. The girls are attacked by a flying book and they run away.

Stacey is babysitting a few of the Pike children. Margo and Vanessa use some crazy shampoo on Claire. Meanwhile, Nicky disappears. Stacey asks Dawn for help finding the second most annoying Pike child (the first is still Claire and her “silly phase” which is just an “annoying phase”). Dawn finds Nicky covered in mud near her house, which at the edge of Nicky’s two-block wandering maximum.

Now to the climax. Mallory and Dawn are watching the Pike boys. Nicky gets into a fight with the triplets during a bizarre lunch that involves pregnant woman food combinations and juvenile attempts at humor. Nicky runs away and Mallory scolds the triplets. Dawn finds Nicky in the secret passage. Nicky was the one who left the food, the buckle, the key, and all the other bric-a-brac in the passage. He also tapped on Dawn’s walls and made her think it was a ghost. They share a tender moment before heading back.

The book ends with the BSC having a slumber party at Dawn’s house where they watch a ghost fellate a man and Anthony Michael Hall rape a woman while a racist Orientalist stereotype terrorizes a small town (they watch Ghostbusters and Sixteen Candles – I love those movies, especially Sixteen Candles, but let’s not overlook the more problematic and unpleasant aspects of those movies). Stacey and Dawn are left out of the junk food buffet and play a prank on the rest of the club.

I enjoyed The Ghost at Dawn’s House. It was a predecessor to the beloved The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery books (I remember loving the Mystery series, we’ll see if they hold up when I get those). Nicky gets on my nerves, but I have a short fuse when it comes to children. I know that’s odd considering I’m rereading a book series about children watching over children. Maybe I’ll learn to love Nicky and Claire and the other Pike children as the series continues. For now, I’m happy with the mysteries that surround Stoneybrooke. And just because Nicky was the ghost this time, doesn’t mean there isn’t a curmudgeon who refused to leave his property a million years ago haunting Dawn’s house, or that any other houses in Stoneybrooke don’t contain a paranormal enigma waiting for the BSC to solve.

Rereading My Childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook

For a list of every Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, and Fear Street book review I’ve done, go to RereadingMyChildhood.com or follow RereadMyChildhd on Twitter. For more information about me, Amy A. Cowan, visit my website AmyACowan.com or follow my Twitter: amyacowan.