I first discovered Ann M. Martin in elementary school, when I devoured all of The Baby-Sitters Club Little Sister books from my local and school libraries. There were so many!
Ann M. Martin was born on August 12, 1955. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. The daughter of a pre-school teacher and a cartoonist, Martin loved creative writing starting in second grade. As she grew, she loved working with children, and decided to become a teacher. As a teenager, she spent summer breaks working at the Eden Institute, helping autistic children.
She attended Smith College, graduating in 1977, having studied early childhood education and child psychology. After graduation, Martin taught fourth and fifth-grade students in Noroton, Connecticut. Her students had a variety of learning challenges, including dyslexia and autism. She has said that working with special needs children influenced her writing.
Martin pursued publishing after teaching. Starting as an editorial assistant, she worked her way up to senior editor at several children’s book publishers, including Pocket Books and Scholastic.
Her first book, Bummer Summer, was published in 1983. She began writing The Baby-Sitters Club series in 1985. She now focuses on single novels, many of which are set in the 1960s.
Martin has been honored with several awards, including the Children’s Choice Award in 1985, and a Newbery Honor in 2003. She started the Ann M. Martin Foundation in 1990, which supports art, education, and literacy programs, as well as programs for abused and stray animals.
Bummer Summer (1983)
This is Martin’s debut novel. I definitely want to read this one.
Missing Since Monday (1986)
A girl is kidnapped. Sounds like my kind of book.
The Baby-Sitters Club series (1986-2000)
Martin wrote the original 35 books, and the rest have been ghostwritten.
Baby-Sitters Little Sister series (1988-2000)
This was the first series I completely devoured, although I don’t think I’ve actually read them all. I really identified with Karen, the main character, throughout elementary school.
The California Diaries
This is one series that I discovered while writing this post. I definitely want to read them, since they are journals, and they deal with more mature topics than The Baby-Sitters Club typically covered.
A Corner of the Universe (2003)
This was the book that received the Newbery Honor. Hattie turns 12, and her uncle Adam returns home for the first time in ten years. Adam has schizophrenia and autism, and while the other adults struggle to deal with his view of the world, Hattie wants to be a friend.
What about you?
Have you read any of Ann M. Martin’s work?
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂