The Making of a Young Adult Superseries

Kristen Twardowski

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There is a difference between writing a trilogy and writing a series of 10 books. There is perhaps an even greater distance between writing a series of 10 books and a series of 100. Despite the huge effort it takes to imagine a series that lasts that many books, some of the most popular children’s fiction of the 1980’s and 1990’s were parts of these ‘superseries’.

On of the best examples of this phenomenon was The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. The books follow a group of friends who run a babysitting business in their hometown. The books rotate which main character narrates the story, which allows the series to deal with a breadth of problems such as divorce, illness, peer conflicts, etc. without it being too melodramatic. Despite the simplicity  of the conceit (or perhaps because of it), the series was immensely popular. Between 1986-2000 , 213 books had…

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