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How The Baby-Sitters Club Made Social Justice Fun for Tweens

Like many kids who started reading chapter books in the mid-1990s, I picked up a lot of surprisingly practical knowledge from Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club . I learned from Mallory that dyeing your hair blonde on a beach-vacation whim can turn out disastrously and from Stacey that it can be pretty easily reversed . I learned from Dawn’s stepdad, Richard, that “hospital corners” are the ultimate sign of a neat and carefully made bed, and decades later, I still think of him every time I crease a bedsheet (or just can’t muster the energy to crease a bedsheet) before tucking it under my mattress.

Earlier this month, Netflix’s delightfully updated adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club introduced a new generation of young people to the franchise and its useful lessons. The last two episodes — the episodes that draw the least from Martin’s source material — find the BSC at summer camp, where Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez) organizes a protest after she and Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada) discover just how many more opportunities the camp offers to kids whose parents can provide them with extra cash. In the season finale , Dawn explains to an older counselor that protests […]

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