In April the company plans to reissue repackaged and slightly revised versions of the first two volumes in one of its most successful series, “The Baby-Sitters Club,” in the hopes of igniting enthusiasm in a new generation of readers. Scholastic is publishing a newly written prequel, “The Summer Before,” by Ann M. Martin, the original author of “The Baby-Sitters Club” books.
The move follows Scholastic’s 2008 resuscitation of “Goosebumps,” another of its most popular series. For now Scholastic and Ms. Martin only have plans for the one prequel, although the publisher will release three more reissues of the original series later next year.
“The Baby-Sitters Club,” which ran from 1986 through 2000, garnered an ardent following among preteenage girls throughout its run of 213 titles, with the publisher ultimately printing 176 million copies. The series, which followed the baby-sitting adventures and friendships of four 12-to-13-year-old girls — Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey (the cast expanded to eight main characters later in the series) — spawned several spinoffs, including a mystery series and a collection of books about Kristy’s little sister. All of the books are now out of print.