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.

Latest Episodes & Essays - Every Thursday

The Baby-Sitters Club #15: Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . and Dawn by Ann M. Martin
Goosebumps: A Shocker on Shock Street by R. L. Stine
The Baby-Sitters Club #14: Hello, Mallory by Ann M. Martin

Rereading My childhood - The Essay Series

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.

The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin

Latest Episodes & Essays

The Baby-Sitters Club #15: Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . and Dawn by Ann M. Martin
The Baby-Sitters Club #14: Hello, Mallory by Ann M. Martin
The Baby-Sitters Club #13: Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye

#1: Kristy's Great Idea

The Baby-Sitters Club #1: Kristy's Great Idea

#2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

The Baby-Sitters Club #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

#3: The Truth About Stacey

The Baby-Sitters Club #3: The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Martin

#4: Mary Anne Saves the Day

The Baby-Sitters Club #4: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin

#5: Dawn and the Impossible Three

The Baby-Sitters Club #5: Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. Martin

#6: Kristy's Big Day

The Baby-Sitters Club #6: Kristy's Big Day by Ann M. Martin

#7: Claudia and Mean Janine

The Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine

#8: Boy-Crazy Stacey

The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey by Ann M. Martin

#9: The Ghost at Dawn's House

The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn's House by Ann M. Martin

#10: Logan Likes Mary Anne!

The Baby-Sitters Club #10: Logan Likes Mary Anne! by Ann M. Martin

#11: Kristy and the Snobs

The Baby-Sitters Club #11: Kristy and the Snob by Ann M. Martin

#12: Claudia and the New Girl

The Baby-Sitters Club #12: Claudia and the New Girl by Ann M. Martin

#13: Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye

The Baby-Sitters Club #13: Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye

#14: Hello, Mallory

The Baby-Sitters Club #14: Hello, Mallory by Ann M. Martin

#15: Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . and Dawn

The Baby-Sitters Club #15: Little Miss Stoneybrook . . . and Dawn by Ann M. Martin

27+26+26+26+26
1-27; 28-53; 52-79; 80-105; 106-131

Super Specials

4+4+4+4+4

#1: Baby-sitters on Board!

The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #1: Baby-sitters on Board! by Ann M. Martin

#2: Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation

The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2: Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation by Ann M. Martin

Mysteries

8+7+7+7+7
1-8; 9-15; 16-22; 23-29; 30-36

Super Mysteries

1+1+1+1

Special Edition Readers' Requests

1+1+1

Portrait Collections

2+2+2

California Diaries

3+3+3+3+3

Friends Forever

3+3+3+3+2

Other Titles

These are affiliate links and I may get a commission from any purchases you make, but you get to support a local bookshop and me at the same time. Thanks!

Goosebumps by R. L. Stine

Latest Episodes & Essays

Goosebumps: A Shocker on Shock Street by R. L. Stine
Goosebumps: Attack of the Jack-o'-Lanterns by R. L. Stine
Goosebumps: Egg Monsters From Mars by R. L. Stine

Monster Blood

Goosebumps: Monsterblood

The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

Goosebumps: The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb by R. L. Stine

Stay Out of the Basement!

Goosebumps: Stay Out of the Basement! by R. L. Stine

Night of the Living Dummy

Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine

Legend of the Lost Legend

Goosebumps: Legend of the Lost Legend by R. L. Stine

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight

Goosebumps: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine

Ghost Beach

Goosebumps: Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine

Egg Monsters From Mars

Goosebumps: Egg Monsters From Mars by R. L. Stine

A Shocker on Shock Street

Goosebumps: A Shocker on Shock Street by R. L. Stine

Attack of the Jack-o'-Lanterns

Goosebumps: Attack of the Jack-o'-Lanterns by R. L. Stine

13+13+12+12+12

These are affiliate links and I may get a commission from any purchases you make, but you get to support a local bookshop and me at the same time. Thanks!

Fear Street by R. L. Stine

Latest Episodes & Essays

Fear Street: The Boy Next Door by R. L. Stine
The Mind Reader by R. L. Stine
Fear Street: Halloween Party by R. L. Stine

Bad Dreams

Fear Street: Bad Dreams

Who Killed the Homecoming Queen?

Fear Street: Who Killed the Homecoming Queen?

The New Girl

Fear Street: The New Girl

Broken Hearts

Fear Street: Broken Hearts by R. L. Stine

Halloween Party

Fear Street: Halloween Party by R. L. Stine

The Mind Reader

The Mind Reader by R. L. Stine

High Tide

Fear Street: High Tide by R. L. Stine

The Boy Next Door

Fear Street: The Boy Next Door by R. L. Stine

13+13+12+12+12

Sagas

#1: A New Fear

Fear Street Sagas #1: A New Fear by R. L. Stine

4+4+4+3+3
1-4; 5-8; 9-12; 13-15; 16-18

These are affiliate links and I may get a commission from any purchases you make, but you get to support a local bookshop and me at the same time. ThankS!