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1. Kristy's Great Idea 2. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls 3. The Truth About Stacey 4. Mary Anne Saves the Day


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1. Kristy's Great Idea 2. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls 3. The Truth About Stacey 4. Mary Anne Saves the Day

30 review for Baby-Sitters Club Boxed Set #1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    I'm not going to bother listing the whole series, but I read quite a few of them (maybe 30 or 40 of the--at the time--100 or so books)in second and third grade. By fourth grade I could feel myself starting to outgrow them, but kept reading because I just couldn't bring myself to let go of a series that I had once loved. In fifth grade, I tried to reread some of my favorites from the series and found myself thinking "God, this is stupid. What exactly did I like about these books?" While I thorough I'm not going to bother listing the whole series, but I read quite a few of them (maybe 30 or 40 of the--at the time--100 or so books)in second and third grade. By fourth grade I could feel myself starting to outgrow them, but kept reading because I just couldn't bring myself to let go of a series that I had once loved. In fifth grade, I tried to reread some of my favorites from the series and found myself thinking "God, this is stupid. What exactly did I like about these books?" While I thoroughly enjoyed the BSC books as a kid and remember them fondly (if for no other reason than that they made me look forward to, rather than dread, my teen years), I'm only giving them two stars because looking back, the most memorable feature of the books is how shallow they are. The girls all fit neatly into the most basic, stereotypical personality types possible--more like templates for any story about teen girls than like actual characters. Let's take a closer look, shall we? Role call! --Kristy, the tomboy! She disdains makeup and girly clothes, plays every sport evar and is good at all of them! Oh, and she has three brothers--that's why she's a tomboy, see --Claudia, the artist! She's very talented at every art form she's tried her hand at but gets terrible grades in school. Because, you know, artists are above such mundane concerns and have to spend all their time planning the perfect crazy outfits to showcase their creativity, instead of on things like schoolwork (eyeroll) --Stacey, the socialite from New York City! She's very fashion-conscious (of course), but other than that her personality is pretty blank. Oh yeah, and she's diabetic but doesn't want anyone to know about it because it means she's not perfect or something --Mary Anne, the supersweet shy girl with the overprotective father! Her mom died when she was very young, you see, and since men don't know how to raise little girls on their own, her father inevitably became a control freak who treats his daughter more like a well-groomed, carefully trained pet than a person --Dawn, the California girl! She stands up for her beliefs no matter what (though Martin never actually mentions what those beliefs are, or why standing up for them would be necessary). Also, she's semi-vegetarian (meaning she'll eat poultry but not red meat) and thinks junk food is disgusting (unless the girls are having a sleepover that involves pizza and/or chocolate cake). Also-also, she hates cold and snow and rain, because apparently in never rains or snows in California. At all. --Mallory, the bookworm who displays every "nerd" stereotype the author could think of! Glasses? Check. Braces? Check. Unmanageably frizzy, curly red hair? Check. Social awkwardness and large, quirky family? Check check. --Jessi, the token African American character! She's a ballerina, likes to read, and...yeah, that's about it. I kind of felt like Martin included her out of a sense of obligation (she'd used Claudia to fill her Asian character quota; now she needed to represent another minority) The funny thing is, despite Martin's own statement that she wanted to create a diverse group of friends who got along and worked well together in spite of their differences, the girls had far more similarities than differences: they were all good students, with the exception of Claudia (oh but she's still smart, I promise! She's just not a good student because she doesn't like school much; it's not like she's stupid or learning disabled--which, actually, might have made more sense than just inexplicably being terrible at math and spelling and history and reading and everything except art); they all have good relationships with their families (any token conflicts are quickly and painlessly resolved without any real changes or sacrifices having to be made); they're all reasonably intelligent but turn into giggling idiots the minute an attractive guy shows up; they all like the exact same music, TV shows, clothes (even Kristy-the-tomboy, when she does get dolled up, chooses remarkably similar outfits to those worn by the more fashion-conscious club members), and books; they are all Very Mature And Responsible. They also all narrate with the exact same voice--odd, considering how different their personalities are supposed to be. Much as I enjoyed these books as a kid, I could never in good conscience recommend them to my own children (if I ever have any) because of how formulaic and superficial they are.

  2. 5 out of 5

    tee

    I preferred The Famous Five by Enid Blyton because I was a big, fat nerd. I do remember the books being repetitive and the girls, although having unique character traits, being rather unspectacular. Someone had diabetes, someone was a tomboy and there was the blonde californian girl who I either wanted to be, or had a crush on. I think even back then, girly stuff made me a bit nauseous. I was never one of those girls that was like, "Oh my god, Howard is so sexy, look at him play football." (and I preferred The Famous Five by Enid Blyton because I was a big, fat nerd. I do remember the books being repetitive and the girls, although having unique character traits, being rather unspectacular. Someone had diabetes, someone was a tomboy and there was the blonde californian girl who I either wanted to be, or had a crush on. I think even back then, girly stuff made me a bit nauseous. I was never one of those girls that was like, "Oh my god, Howard is so sexy, look at him play football." (and I notice one of the books is titled, "Logan LIkes Maryanne!" I almost expect a !!!!!!!11111 after it.) Besides, I was the creep that had a crush on Marilyn Manson. And David Bowie when he was in The Labyrinth. The cupcake-sweet sleepovers, and the goody-two-shoes behaviour always made me feel a bit violent. I know, I was a nerd. But a closeted psychopath, which was unleashed in my teen years. I remember the only book that I truly loved was where they got stuck on an island or something? I remember thinking SHIT IS GONNA GET FUCKED UP, THESE HOS GONNA BE AILING. Or something, maybe I wasn't a closeted gangsta, maybe I was. All I know is I wanted those bitches to suffer and have to eat sand. And live on sea water. And maybe make out with each other. The Babysitters Club books made me realise I wasn't normal. Which is okay, it had to happen sometime. This, in combination with my parents not allowing me to shave my legs, use deodorant, date boys, have sleepovers, celebrate christmas or birthdays and so on - made me that girl you loved to hate at school. The one that skulked in the toilets, hid in the library, had weird pre-teen boobs, a home-cut fringe, gappy teeth. Oh god, Ann M Martin, look what you've done. I'm having to live out my childhood. And those who follow my reviews are probably starting to put together a pretty good visual of my pre-teen years. Hooray for you. I bet your mum let you wear a bra when you sprouted nubbins.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I pretty much read all the Baby Sitters Club books when I was younger (middle school, mostly), including most of the mysteries, the super specials, and the movies (yes-there was a little known series of movies before the big blockbuster came out). I was a member of the fan club, and made my own kid kits for children I never babysat. I was a pretty huge fan, to say the least. Mostly a Dawn/Mallory fan, but loved them all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kara Roberts

    The best thing about this book is that there are sooo many books one could read if they liked this book. I would love to introduce this book to a middle school girl. I would know that she would love it and continue to read this series. This is a great book for those who are at a hogher reading lever than some transitional chapter books. Background:::: --Kristy, the tomboy! She disdains makeup and girly clothes, plays every sport and is good at all of them! Oh, and she has three brothers--that's w The best thing about this book is that there are sooo many books one could read if they liked this book. I would love to introduce this book to a middle school girl. I would know that she would love it and continue to read this series. This is a great book for those who are at a hogher reading lever than some transitional chapter books. Background:::: --Kristy, the tomboy! She disdains makeup and girly clothes, plays every sport and is good at all of them! Oh, and she has three brothers--that's why she's a tomboy, see --Claudia, the artist! She's very talented at every art form she's tried her hand at but gets terrible grades in school. Because, you know, artists are above such mundane concerns and have to spend all their time planning the perfect crazy outfits to showcase their creativity, instead of on things like schoolwork --Stacey, the socialite from New York City! She's very fashion-conscious (of course), but other than that her personality is pretty blank. Oh yeah, and she's diabetic but doesn't want anyone to know about it because it means she's not perfect or something --Mary Anne, the super-sweet shy girl with the overprotective father! Her mom died when she was very young, you see, and since men don't know how to raise little girls on their own, her father inevitably became a control freak who treats his daughter more like a well-groomed, carefully trained pet than a person --Dawn, the California girl! She stands up for her beliefs no matter what (though Martin never actually mentions what those beliefs are, or why standing up for them would be necessary). Also, she's semi-vegetarian (meaning she'll eat poultry but not red meat) and thinks junk food is disgusting (unless the girls are having a sleepover that involves pizza and/or chocolate cake). Also-also, she hates cold and snow and rain, because apparently in never rains or snows in California. At all. --Mallory, the bookworm who displays every "nerd" stereotype the author could think of! Glasses? Check. Braces? Check. Unmanageably frizzy, curly red hair? Check. Social awkwardness and large, quirky family? Check check. --Jessi, the token African American character! She's a ballerina, likes to read, and...yeah, that's about it. I kind of felt like Martin included her out of a sense of obligation (she'd used Claudia to fill her Asian character quota; now she needed to represent another minority)

  5. 4 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    I remember that my mom read a bunch of the Baby-Sitters Club books to me when I was a very young child, though I don't remember how many we read. If I recall correctly, we both enjoyed the early installments, but as the series went on, we both lost interest. For my mom, it was because she felt like the girls in the books started trying to grow up way too fast and were getting all boy-crazy and stuff. For me, I think I was either just plain growing out of the book, or maybe it got to the point wh I remember that my mom read a bunch of the Baby-Sitters Club books to me when I was a very young child, though I don't remember how many we read. If I recall correctly, we both enjoyed the early installments, but as the series went on, we both lost interest. For my mom, it was because she felt like the girls in the books started trying to grow up way too fast and were getting all boy-crazy and stuff. For me, I think I was either just plain growing out of the book, or maybe it got to the point where the characters were just so much older than me that I just couldn't relate anymore. I don't quite recall. Either way, while I have vague recollections of these stories, they were never my favorites, and there were many other children's series that I loved (and therefore remember) much better. I give the Baby-Sitters Club series Two stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Ann M. Martin's writing style: Step One--Cut and paste first three chapters from previous novel, changing name of featured baby sitter as necessary. Step Two--Copy plot from previous novel, changing name of featured baby sitter, and slightly tweaking the "conflict." If book 4 is about Kristy's struggle with braces, make book 5 be about Mallory's struggle with her curly hair. The fun thing about Martin's writing is how she defies logic. In one story, Dawn buys a lottery ticket (though she's under 18 Ann M. Martin's writing style: Step One--Cut and paste first three chapters from previous novel, changing name of featured baby sitter as necessary. Step Two--Copy plot from previous novel, changing name of featured baby sitter, and slightly tweaking the "conflict." If book 4 is about Kristy's struggle with braces, make book 5 be about Mallory's struggle with her curly hair. The fun thing about Martin's writing is how she defies logic. In one story, Dawn buys a lottery ticket (though she's under 18)and uses her winnings to take the gals of the baby sitters club on a Bahamanian cruise BY THEMSELVES. Yet, the gals' weekend curfew remains at 10.00 PM... Clearly she spends a LOT of time around teenage girls. She really understands what makes them tick.

  7. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    This was a pretty good start to what would become one of the iconic series read by 90's kids (Hey, how do you do, fellowkids? ;) ) and I devoured many of the books as a kid, wanting to be just like the totally rad girls of the BSC. This four-book boxset features the beginning of the BSC series from the view of the four original members of the club. Ahh, 90's nostalgia...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if I come across these at a yard sale, I will pick them up for a couple hour trip down memory lane, and I declare nearly nothing centers and relaxes me more!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if I come across these at a yard sale, I will pick them up for a couple hour trip down memory lane, and I declare nearly nothing centers and relaxes me more!

  10. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    If you have teenage daughters, grab this collection. The stories are great for teenage sons as well. They are also great for adults who like fun adventures. Find four books in this set. I read them all separately before I found this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    marilyn

    Oh my god, did I love these. I wouldn't say they did very much for my vocabulary or literary ambition, however.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

    Lovely book series for young girls (and boys too).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mouse

    It was really good. Highly recommend reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Manar

    I thought this book is amazing. It includes a lot of details.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heaven Wilson

    All of these books were fantastic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This box set represents all 131 books in this series ... I'm pretty sure I read them all :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leana Wilson

    they really make you wan't to read them all over

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tanita Barrett

    I’ve read most if not all the books. One Of the best series for teens and young adults.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    These books were a comfort to my elementary school self.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    This set includes the first four books in the series. Each book is told from the point of view of the four founding members of the club. The final book includes an extra chapter welcoming Dawn into the club. Each book shows the growth of the club and the growing friendships between the members. Each girl grows in her own way and overcomes a few personal problems. It was a good start to the rest of the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Doofenshmirtz

    I used to love this series so much. I went from being younger than the main characters to being older than they, and the series still hadn't ended. From time to time, I wondered if the girls would ever pass the eighth grade, and if perhaps Claudia wasn't the only dumb one. (Ann M. Martin would later answer the question in a sub-series that was mildly disappointing due to its realism.) Stylistically speaking, BSC isn't the best. In spite of having different personalities, the girls all sound the s I used to love this series so much. I went from being younger than the main characters to being older than they, and the series still hadn't ended. From time to time, I wondered if the girls would ever pass the eighth grade, and if perhaps Claudia wasn't the only dumb one. (Ann M. Martin would later answer the question in a sub-series that was mildly disappointing due to its realism.) Stylistically speaking, BSC isn't the best. In spite of having different personalities, the girls all sound the same. I also have more problems with the series now that I realize the girls are only thirteen. First of all, are thirteen-year-olds even allowed to be home alone, much less be in charge of other kids? What kind of parents would leave their babies with a thirteen-year-old babysitter? I must also question the sanity of Stacey's and Dawn's mothers, who let their respective daughter get a perm and multiple piercings. I don't care what you think, that's just irresponsible parenting. Everyone knows a perm and multiple piercings at the tender age of thirteen lead to drugs, tattoos, and sex. Though in all seriousness, does anyone else not think that Stacey is the kind of girl who wouldn't stay a virgin for long? At thirteen she's already gone out with a million boys, been in love twice, and flirted with "older" boys. If this series was written in the 21st century, I really think Ann M. Martin would have touched that point somewhat. Nevertheless, BSC gave me a lot of good memories. While this is the kind of series I would stay far, far, away from today and is possibly outdated in the land of pedophilia and cell phones, I'd still recommend it for younger girls who are looking for tales of friendship and a BSC character to relate to.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    I like this book because it tells a story about four girls planning a baby sitters club which is very interesting. They plan it and the club turnes out pretty succesfull.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jack Louridas

    One of my favorite book series really interesting book, recommend it very much.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I read the books in this series when I was younger, and absolutely loved them. However, when I read them again this year, I was not very impressed. In spite of having different personalities, the girls all sound the same. I also have more problems with the series now that I realize the girls are only thirteen. I must also question the sanity of Stacey's and Dawn's mothers, who let their respective daughter get a perm and multiple piercings. This is not the type of parenting I have been exposed t I read the books in this series when I was younger, and absolutely loved them. However, when I read them again this year, I was not very impressed. In spite of having different personalities, the girls all sound the same. I also have more problems with the series now that I realize the girls are only thirteen. I must also question the sanity of Stacey's and Dawn's mothers, who let their respective daughter get a perm and multiple piercings. This is not the type of parenting I have been exposed to, so it is just different for me to see this type of behavior. At thirteen Stacey has already gone out with a million boys, been in love twice, and flirted with older boys. I feel like that is maybe something someone in high school would do. Nevertheless, the Babysitters Club gave me a lot of good memories and could be a fun read for younger girls. If a girl in my class was reading this, I would just want to caution them and make sure they know that not all of their behavior is acceptable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shyla

    I started reading these in about 4th grade and read alot of them in no particular order. Any one I could get my hands on I would read. I remember my mom complaining because she would buy me one and I would have it read within hours and ready for a new one so I had to start getting them from the library. They were so innocent and good. I loved how all the girls were so different and I so wanted to be Stacey! But by the time I was in 7th/8th grade they were a little young and I couldn't understand I started reading these in about 4th grade and read alot of them in no particular order. Any one I could get my hands on I would read. I remember my mom complaining because she would buy me one and I would have it read within hours and ready for a new one so I had to start getting them from the library. They were so innocent and good. I loved how all the girls were so different and I so wanted to be Stacey! But by the time I was in 7th/8th grade they were a little young and I couldn't understand how these girls were making such a big deal about pecking boys when I was full on making out! Fond memories of a much more innocent and carefree time in my life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    Ok I was a massive BSC fan. I think at one stage, I owned every single book. The first two chapters of each book was often skipped due to it being the same things rewritten. I was way younger than the characters when I began this series and even though I eventually out-aged them, I was still a fan. Some of the books were actually interesting and dealt with some issues such as the girl with anorexia, the bad girls that stole and drank alcohol and some other things I am sure. All I know is that as Ok I was a massive BSC fan. I think at one stage, I owned every single book. The first two chapters of each book was often skipped due to it being the same things rewritten. I was way younger than the characters when I began this series and even though I eventually out-aged them, I was still a fan. Some of the books were actually interesting and dealt with some issues such as the girl with anorexia, the bad girls that stole and drank alcohol and some other things I am sure. All I know is that as a kid, these books were highly addictive and I've saved them for my kids to enjoy as much as I did!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Read many of the Babysitters Club series during my childhood/early adolescence, and although I have heard a bit of criticism regarding how poorly written and formulaic they are, I have no problem admitting, they brought me many happy hours of light fun reading. I got very caught up in the characters and their lives and always awaited the next installment in the series eagerly. I will enjoy giving the set (which I recently re-acquired) to my daughter in a few years time. She is currently enjoying Read many of the Babysitters Club series during my childhood/early adolescence, and although I have heard a bit of criticism regarding how poorly written and formulaic they are, I have no problem admitting, they brought me many happy hours of light fun reading. I got very caught up in the characters and their lives and always awaited the next installment in the series eagerly. I will enjoy giving the set (which I recently re-acquired) to my daughter in a few years time. She is currently enjoying the Little Sister series by the same author(s), and am pretty certain she will have fun with this series also.

  28. 5 out of 5

    April

    Fantastic books for young girls getting into reading!! Great stories about friendship and life lessons. The characters deal with all sorts of situations and often find responsible solutions to problems. I loved this series growing up and wanted to start my own babysitting business with friends. Great lessons in entrepreneurship for tweens. The books may be dated with out references to modern technology but the story stands and lessons are still relevant. Awesome books that girls will love! And the Fantastic books for young girls getting into reading!! Great stories about friendship and life lessons. The characters deal with all sorts of situations and often find responsible solutions to problems. I loved this series growing up and wanted to start my own babysitting business with friends. Great lessons in entrepreneurship for tweens. The books may be dated with out references to modern technology but the story stands and lessons are still relevant. Awesome books that girls will love! And the series grows with them! Terrific Author!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    The bsc series obviously had a profound impact on my life, seeing that i'm the treasurer of a club loosely modeled after them and i like to think of myself as mostly claudia with a touch of dawn and a little bit of mallory in me (just a little - i mean, i just don't like horses). If you want to read a more thorough analysis of this series, though, you should ask ainsley. she's got a lot to say on the topic.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A nostalgic rating! I'm rating this series highly, because without it I don't think I would be the reader I am today. I obsessively combed used book stores for issues of the series that I hadn't read. I highlighted the ones I'd read in the listings in the front of them. I read every book at least twice, even the super specials and the little sister series. I started reading them in the summer of the third grade, and didn't put them down until I was 12. Great series for young readers! Love it!

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