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A Little Literacy, Please: Beyond the Babysitter’s Club

By Leslie Lindsay

I grew up reading the Babysitters Club.  It was through these early chapter books that I developed a fondness for reading–and babysitting.  I would read these stories of Kristy, Dawn, Claudia, Stacy (wow, can’t believe how quickly those names just flew from my fingertips) and think, “Hey, that’s a great idea:  I’ll do that the next time I babysit.”  And so, a kinship was developed.

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It’s no surprise then I paused when I saw the name, Ann M. Martin when I was flipping through “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book,” (Roaring Press Books, 2009).  Ms. Martin was discussing the books which influenced her as she was growing up.  Curious, I read more.

Seems Ann M. Martin was most moved by “Roll of Thunder, Her My Cry,” by Mildred D. Taylor.  Considered to be one of the finest pieces of historical fiction in the last half of the twentieth century by critics, this book brings to life the saga of a proud black family living in the rural south in the 1930’s.    Ms. Martin describes how she was immersed in books as a child, growing up in a home where everyone loved to read.  They went to the library every week and her father, though a cartoonist, was also a gifted storyteller.   He amused his two girls with tales of a man he called Mr. Pieball.  (Their mother was  preschool teacher).

I wonder what Ann M. Martin is doing these days…hummm??!

Well, it seems that she has founded the Ann M. Martin Foundation which benefits kids, education, and literacy–as well as stray and abused animals.    For more information, see

For more information about the author, please review

More on return of “The Babysitters Club”


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