Amy A. Cowan is rediscovering the books of her childhood and writing about them on the way: The Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, and Fear Street.
See her website for everything she's doing at Mind Full of Marbles or follow her on Twitter at @amyacowan.
Rereading My Childhood - The Podcast
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
|#21: Mallory and the Trouble With Twins||2021/06/19||2021/07/19||2021/08/19|
|#20: Kristy and the Walking Disaster||2021/06/01||2021/07/01||2021/08/01|
|#19: Claudia and the Bad Joke||2021/05/20||2021/06/20||2021/07/20|
|#18: Stacey's Mistake||Medium||2021/06/02||2021/07/02|
|#17: Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery||Medium||Wattpad||2021/06/21|
|#16: Jessi's Secret Language||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#15: Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . And Dawn||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Super Special #1: Baby-Sitters on Board!||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#14: Hello, Mallory||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#13: Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#12: Claudia and the New Girl||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#11: Kristy and the Snobs||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#10: Logan Likes Mary Anne!||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#9: The Ghost at Dawn's House||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#8: Boy-Crazy Stacey||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#7: Claudia and Mean Janine||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#6: Kristy's Big Day||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#5: Dawn and the Impossible Three||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#4: Mary Anne Saves the Day||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#3: The Truth About Stacey||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|#1: Kristy's Great Idea||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
|The Haunted Mask||Halloween Special||2021/10/24||On All Platforms|
|A Shocker on Shock Street||2021/06/10||2021/07/10||2021/08/10|
|Egg Monsters From Mars||Medium||2021/06/11||2021/07/11|
|The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Legend of the Lost Legend||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Night of the Living Dummy||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Stay Out of the Basement!||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
Fear Street by R. L. Stine
|Sagas #3: Forbidden Secrets||2021/06/28||2021/07/28||2021/08/28|
|Sagas #2: House of Whispers||2021/05/29||2021/06/29||2021/07/29|
|The Mind Reader||Medium||Wattpad||2021/06/30|
|The New Girl||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Sagas #1: A New Fear||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
|Who Killed the Homecoming Queen?||Medium||Wattpad||WordPress|
A Year With the BSC (The Baby-Sitters Club Friendship Kit)
#1: First Letter
#2: Stay Out of It, Dawn
#3: I Made a Flyer!
#4: Happy Birthday, Claudia!
#5: Good Job, Mallory
#6: BSC Day Camp
#7: How, Mary Anne, How?
#8: A Simple Fix
#9: Kristy's Birthday
#10: Why Would You Do That?
#11: The End of Summer
#12: Send In the Grandparents!
#13: A Slow Week
#14: Ten Pictures?
#15: Let Women Live, Dammit!
#16: The Costume Conundrum
#17: Haunted House Explanation With My Dad
#18: A Spooky Idea
#19: Laughing All the Way to the ICU
#20: Animals and Thanksgiving
#21: What Backspace?
#22: Turkey is Gross, Deal With It
#24: Vice-President Search
#25: Camp Word-That-Has-New-Connotations
#26: Sweet Camp Moolah
#27: What Happened to Jessi?
#28: Creating a Habit
#29: Welcome Back, Jessi!
#30: The Late One
#31: Killing Trees
#32: Get Out Dat Hole!
#33: Hearts for Old Farts
#34: Saying Yuck Weird
#35: A Phone Call
#36: Making a Card for Shannon
#37: The Kid Sucks
#38: Zip Codes and Tickets
#39: Time Travel
#40: The Early One!
#41: A Lot to Unpack
#42: Steez Chomping
#43: Swing and a Miss
#44: Vaccinate Your Damn Kids
#45: Claudia's Ruse
#46: This One's Weird
#47: The Long Game
#48: Turn On the TV
#49: Neither a Simone Nor a Biles Be
#50: Self Promotion
#51: Shaving a Doll
#52: The Finish Line Is In Sight
#53: Back to the Beginning
In 2015, my father passed away. My mother couldn’t pay all the bills without assistance, so my partner and I moved in with her. It was a good situation for everyone involved – my mother received help and the new arrangement alleviated our bills. At the same time, Jon’s job situation stabilized due to the new, optimistic Obama economy (we were so happy before the Orange Menace).
For the first time in years, we had disposable income. I was also spending time with my mother browsing thrift stores, a hobby I forgot I enjoyed. At a Savers, I found a stack of my missed childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. The rush of memories from those years I spent with Kristy, Claudia, Stacy, Jessi, Mallory, Dawn, Abby, and, my favorite, Mary Anne grabbed me. Along with my newfound disposable income, I couldn’t resist. I purchased the whole stack. I had done what any adult does when they have extra money – I bought back my childhood – or more accurately, I bought the childhood I wished I had.
I didn’t own every The Baby-Sitters Club book, but I had a significant collection. I was a part of the fan club. I played that CD-ROM game every day. I begged for a new book each month. I kept a The Baby-Sitters Club diary. I even wrote a letter to Ann M. Martin and received a bookmark and a form letter in return. It was my prized possession.
Unfortunately, there came a time when I wanted to eschew every remnant of my childhood in an attempt to mature. I gave away my collection of The Baby-Sitters Club memorabilia to a friend. I donated my Goosebumps books and I started reading Fear Street.
Now, fifteen odd years later, I scour used bookstores and thrift stores looking for The Baby-Sitters Club, Goosebumps, and Fear Street books.
Now, why do I want to review something I once loved? Why do I want to tear apart the series and authors who made up my childhood and shaped who I am today?
Simple. Exercise and nostalgia.
I want to exercise my writing skills. I want to create a portfolio with work I can be proud of and the only way to do that is to write.
And as for nostalgia – it’s something I don’t revere. Nostalgia is looking back with a skewed sense. It ignores the problems and we end up pining for a time that will never return and wasn’t that great in the first place. I’ve read a few of the early The Baby-Sitters Club books and, frankly, some of them are sub-par. It’s important for me to see that. I believe people need to be reminded that the past wasn’t always perfect.
But there is also a lot of good to be lauded and re-appreciated. The babysitters are surprisingly mature for their ages. In The Baby-Sitters Club #6: Kristy’s Big Day, the BSC start a summer day camp that is surprisingly efficient and organized. They also solve problems in thoughtful ways.
I look forward to rediscovering the crying, laughter, fear, unexpected wisdom as well as the problems in the books that shaped my childhood – The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin, and Fear Street and Goosebumps by R. L. Stine. I’m excited to share my childhood with everyone.