I got to meet Ann M. Martin last Friday!
It was a snow day at school and I was afraid that this event would also be cancelled. But I got an email saying it was on and after hemming and hawing and going back and forth and checking the roads I decided that the author of my childhood deserves a snowy drive! I also remembered my days as a public librarian, having a big author come in and praying that people would show up!
So I got to the library, early for the talk but late for the teacher reception thrown by Carmichaels. Luckily my friend at Carmichaels let me lurk backstage so that I could get a picture and my books signed! I bought two of her latest and a copy of the Kristy’s Great Idea thinking that kids love the comic so much that they might want to read the actual book. Ann M. Martin (never going to just call her Ann!) came back and was so nice! She saw the copy of Kristy’s Great Idea and asked, “Is this one for you?” and I thought, “What the hell! I should keep it!” so I have a signed copy of Kristy’s Great Idea just for me. I told her my story about me thinking that Claudia was Puerto Rican when I saw the original cover and she thought it was funny. And then she took a picture with me. It was a dream come true!
Some things that I learned from the talk:
- First the audience was split between 10 year old girls who love the graphic novel BSC books and all of her books about dogs and thirty-something year old women that read all of her BSC books. When Ann M. Martin mentioned thinking about writing an adult book about the BSC grown up there was a collective gasp in the audience.
- Ann M. Martin wrote the first four BSC books but they got so popular that she couldn’t keep up with Scholastic’s order and had to hire a team of writers to fill out her outlines for future books. I don’t know why I was so surprised that she didn’t write 300+ BSC books, that would be crazy!
- Reina Telgemeier made the BSC graphic novels before she got famous with Smile and Sisters. Now that Telgemeier is busy with her own books, they had to find someone new to do more BSC comics.
- Speaking of famous illustrators, Brian Selznick was the illustrator of Ann M. Martin’s Doll People series!
- Ann M. Martin has a lot of family in Louisville, which is probably why dreamboat Logan Bruno is from there
In honor of this awesome event, I have chosen my top 5 favorite BSC books!
I got hooked on this series thanks to the dope cover of the first book, Kristy’s Great Idea. Ann M. Martin and I both said that we miss the original cover! In fact let’s get a close up:
Just four girls chilling out WITH THEIR OWN PHONE. Great poses, Stacey and Claudia have great outfits, Claudia clearly looks like she might be a Latina and not Japanese. I was intrigued!
Kristy’s Mystery Admirer and Stacey and the Cheerleaders dealt with something I was VERY interested in back in the day. Crushes. Crushes, dating, boys, and so on. I was very disappointed to find out later in life (you know, when I was actually in 8th grade) that boys don’t take you out to restaurants like grown men. Both of these books, however (especially Kristy’s book) ends with ladies doing what they want which is great.
Mary Anne was my least favorite character (which means I’m a monster) but I loved the book when she got a makeover and all of her friends were jealous witches. I mean, people are not perfect and friends can be terrible, especially in middle school! Mary Anne stands up for herself and her mom haircut!
I was always into the Super Specials too. My favorite is the one when they do a school play. The only injustice is that Jessi (a BORN PERFORMER) doesn’t get to play Peter Pan and has to be the crocodile. She does not take that well. I should have remembered this book and the idea that there are no small parts when I was given the role of “stage manager” during my senior play. That meant actual stage manager by the way, that is not a part.
Also, while you are waiting for Ann M. Martin’s adult BSC novel, read this hilarious article from a while back on the Hairpin!