This April, Scholastic plans to reissue the first two volumes of its once-ubiquitous tween fiction series, The Baby-Sitters Club, according to the New York Times. The publisher is repackaging and updating the books (e.g., a “cassette player” will become “headphones”), and also releasing a prequel, The Summer Before, written by the series’ original author, Ann M. Martin. The original Baby-Sitters Club books, published from 1986-2000, grew to 217 titles and became a huge tween phenom, with 176 million copies in print. Now, Scholastic hopes to reignite fervor for 12- to 13-year-old heroines Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey – while pitching the books to a slightly younger audience than it did originally. (As the Times notes, the publisher has had significant success with its 2008 relaunch of another dormant franchise for young readers, R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.)
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