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The Baby-Sitters Club returns

Plenty of young women who grew up in the 1980s and ’90s still fondly remember The Baby-Sitters Club, the book series that motivated many childhood trips to the library.

Ten years after the series ceased publication, Scholastic has announced that author Ann M. Martin will write a prequel to the series, due on April 1. The brand-new book, called The Summer Before, explains what happened to the girls before they met and formed the club. Here’s the description from the publisher:

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…

In addition, Scholastic will reissue several novels from the original series. From the New York Times:

This whole generation of girls who had grown up reading The Baby-Sitters Club were now teachers, librarians or mothers, said David Levithan, editorial director at Scholastic. And at any opportunity they had, they let us know they wanted them back.

The reissued books will be slightly revised so that today’s preteen girls will be able to relate to them “ dated references to cassette tapes and perms will not make the cut. Other than that, women who grew up reading the BSC can look forward to offering their own daughters better role models than the cast of characters in Gossip Girl.