The Babysitters are back, and republished as ebooks

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Can you name all seven of Mallory’s brothers and sisters? What was Kristy’s softball team called?  What is Claudia’s favorite color?

If you can’t answer these questions, today’s news probably won’t interest you. If you said “Adam, Bryan, Jordan, Vanessa, Nicky, Margo, Claire, Krushers and purple,” you’ll be excited to learn that Scholastic is releasing the first 20 books in the mega-bestselling 1980s and ’90s teen series The Babysitters Club as ebooks on Dec. 1. At a list price of $5.99 apiece, they’re cheap enough that once-rabid fans (ahem) can stock up on a few — though if all 250 books in the series and its spinoffs are eventually republished as ebooks, I might have to make some tough decisions.

Scholastic has printed over 176 million copies of the BSC books worldwide. The ebooks are being released with their original covers by Hodges Soileau — making it clear that Scholastic is hoping to capitalize on the nostalgia factor here. “We want it to be comfort food for the older reader, but at the same time really to get to the new fans,” Scholastic Editorial Director David Levithan told Entertainment Weekly. Scholastic has also launched a Facebook page with the motto “there for you then, there for you now” for “longtime fans.”

Scholastic had previously released the first seven books in the series, plus a new prequel in modernized editions with new covers and some updated details. Those repackaged titles are available as ebooks too, and I’ve asked Scholastic whether it will be selling two ebook versions or whether the older ebooks will be phased out.

Other popular series of the 1980s and ’90s have also been reintroduced to now-grown fans. St. Martin’s is reissuing the first 12 books in Francine Pascal’s “Sweet Valley High” series as ebooks this month (at just $2.99 apiece), and Scholastic has published the original Goosebumps books as “Goosebumps Classics.

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