5 Best Ann M. Martin Books (Children’s & YA)

If you’re a book lover, chances are you’ve come across the name Ann M. Martin. With over 35 years in the industry, the author has published countless novels for children and young adults alike, but where do you begin? In this article, we’ll explore the life and career of Ann M. Martin and break down her most celebrated works. Keep reading to discover which books you should add to your reading list.

5 Best Ann M. Martin Books (Children’s & YA)

The Life and Career of Ann M. Martin

Early Life and Education

Ann M. Martin was born on August 12, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey. Her parents were both educators, and they instilled in her a love of learning from a young age. Martin was an avid reader and writer throughout her childhood, and her parents encouraged her to pursue her passions.

Martin attended Princeton High School, where she excelled academically and was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. She was particularly interested in theater and spent much of her free time performing in school plays and musicals.

After graduating from high school, Martin went on to attend Smith College in Massachusetts. She majored in education and minored in English, and she continued to write in her free time. While at Smith, Martin was a member of the college’s theater group and performed in a number of productions.

The Birth of The Baby-Sitters Club

After graduating from college, Martin worked as a teacher and a freelance writer. She continued to write in her spare time, and in 1986, she published her first book, “Bummer Summer.” The book was well-received, but it wasn’t until Martin published “Kristy’s Big Idea,” the first novel in The Baby-Sitters Club series, that she achieved widespread success.

The Baby-Sitters Club series follows the lives of a group of young girls who run a babysitting service. The books deal with a variety of issues that young people face, including friendship, family, and growing up. The series struck a chord with readers, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

Over the years, Martin wrote more than 100 books in The Baby-Sitters Club series, as well as a number of spin-offs and adaptations. The series has sold over 176 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling book series of all time.

Other Notable Works and Achievements

Although The Baby-Sitters Club series is what Martin is most known for, she has published over 150 novels throughout her career. Her works have been translated into multiple languages and have won numerous awards. In addition to her writing, Martin has also been involved in a number of charitable organizations, including the New York Public Library and the National Organization for Women.

In 2018, Martin received the Children’s Literature Legacy Award for her contributions to children’s literature. The award recognizes authors who have made a significant impact on the field of children’s literature and have inspired generations of young readers.

Today, Martin continues to write and is actively involved in promoting literacy and education. Her books have touched the lives of millions of readers around the world, and her legacy as a writer and educator continues to inspire new generations.

The Baby-Sitters Club Series

Baby-sitters Club (1986-1999)

The Baby-Sitters Club series is a beloved collection of books that has captured the hearts of readers for generations. The series, written by Ann M. Martin, follows the lives of four friends who start a babysitting business. The books are narrated by different members of the club and tackle various social issues that children and young adults face.

The Original Series

The original series consists of 131 books, with the final installment being released in 2000. The series follows the lives of Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey as they navigate the ups and downs of adolescence. Each book in the series is a unique and engaging story that is perfect for readers of all ages.

The relatable characters and engaging writing style make the series a timeless classic. The books cover a wide range of topics, including divorce, illness, and even racism. The series is a must-read for anyone who wants to experience the joys and challenges of growing up.

The Super Specials

The Baby-Sitters Club Super Specials are larger and longer books that are published sporadically throughout the series. These books typically follow the members of the club on vacation or during a special event. The Super Specials are perfect for fans of the original series who want to see more of their favorite characters.

These books are filled with exciting adventures and heartwarming moments that will keep readers engaged and entertained. Whether the club members are on a cruise ship or at a summer camp, the Super Specials are always a fun and enjoyable read.

The Mysteries

Throughout the original series, the members of the club occasionally stumbled upon mysteries that they had to solve. In 1996, Martin published a spin-off series called The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries. The series consists of 36 books and follows the club members as they solve a variety of mysteries, from missing pets to haunted houses.

The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries are perfect for readers who love a good mystery. These books are filled with suspense, intrigue, and unexpected twists and turns. The club members use their intelligence and resourcefulness to solve each mystery, making these books both entertaining and educational.

The Friends Forever Series

The Friends Forever series is a continuation of The Baby-Sitters Club series. The books were published between 1999 and 2000 and follow the members of the club as they navigate high school and the challenges that come with growing up.

The Friends Forever series is a must-read for anyone who loved the original Baby-Sitters Club series. These books are filled with relatable moments and heartfelt emotions that will resonate with readers of all ages. The series is a beautiful tribute to the power of friendship and the importance of staying true to oneself.

The Graphic Novels

In 2006, Scholastic began publishing graphic novel adaptations of the original Baby-Sitters Club series. The graphic novels bring new life to the beloved characters and are perfect for visual learners or those who prefer a more illustrated reading experience.

The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels are beautifully illustrated and capture the essence of the original books. The graphic novels are a great way to introduce younger readers to the series and are sure to become a favorite among fans of all ages.

Overall, The Baby-Sitters Club series is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of readers for generations. Whether you are a longtime fan or a new reader, the series is sure to provide hours of entertainment and inspiration.

Standalone Novels by Ann M. Martin

Ann M. Martin is a prolific author of children’s and young adult literature, known for her engaging and emotionally resonant stories. Her novels have won numerous awards and have been beloved by generations of readers. In this article, we will explore some of Martin’s standout standalone novels, each of which offers a unique and powerful reading experience.

A Corner of the Universe

A Corner of the Universe (Scholastic Gold)

A Corner of the Universe is a young adult novel that explores the themes of family, mental illness, and love. The novel is set in 1960 and follows 12-year-old Hattie as she discovers a new world outside of her family-owned bed-and-breakfast. Hattie’s life is forever changed when her uncle Adam, who has schizophrenia, comes to live with her family for the summer. As Hattie gets to know Adam and his unique perspective on the world, she begins to question her own assumptions and beliefs. The novel is a powerful exploration of the complexities of mental illness and the bonds that hold families together. It won the Newbery Honor Award in 2003, cementing Martin’s reputation as a master of young adult literature.

Belle Teal

Belle Teal

Belle Teal is a middle-grade novel that explores the theme of growing up in the 1960s in the southern United States. The novel follows Belle Teal as she navigates school, racism, and family life. Belle Teal is a bright and curious girl who loves to read and learn, but she faces many obstacles in her path to adulthood. She must confront the racism and prejudice of her small town, as well as the challenges of her own family dynamics. Through it all, Belle Teal remains resilient and determined, and she emerges as a powerful role model for young readers. The novel was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001, and it remains a beloved classic of middle-grade literature.

Here Today

Here Today

Here Today is a young adult novel that explores the themes of friendship, bullying, and grief. The novel follows Ellie, a teenage girl who befriends a new student named Thad. When Thad suddenly passes away, Ellie and her friends must come to terms with their loss and learn to move forward. Ellie is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist, and her struggles with grief and loss will resonate with readers of all ages. Martin’s sensitive and nuanced portrayal of friendship and loss make this novel a powerful and moving read. The novel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2000, and it continues to be a favorite of young adult readers.

Rain Reign

Rain Reign (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers)

Rain Reign is a middle-grade novel that explores the themes of family, acceptance, and neurodivergence. The novel follows Rose, a young girl with Asperger’s syndrome who loves homophones and her dog Rain Reign. When Rain Reign goes missing during a hurricane, Rose must navigate the challenges of finding him and overcoming the obstacles in her life. Rose’s unique perspective on the world is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and Martin’s portrayal of her character is both sensitive and respectful. The novel is a powerful exploration of the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals and the importance of acceptance and understanding. It is a must-read for young readers and adults alike.

Overall, Ann M. Martin’s standalone novels offer a diverse and engaging range of stories, each of which explores important themes and issues. Whether you are a young reader or an adult, these novels are sure to captivate and inspire you.

The Best Books by Ann M. Martin for Every Reader

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Ann M. Martin or just discovering her work, there’s something for everyone in her extensive collection of novels. For fans of The Baby-Sitters Club series, the original series is a must-read, with its unforgettable characters and relatable storylines. The Super Specials, Mysteries, Friends Forever, and Graphic Novel series are all great for readers who want more of the iconic club members.

For those looking for a standalone novel, A Corner of the Universe is a beautifully written novel that explores complex themes of mental illness and family dynamics. Belle Teal is a poignant novel that explores themes of racism and growing up in the southern United States. Here Today is another standout novel that deals with themes of friendship, loss, and grief. Rain Reign is a heartwarming novel that explores the unique perspective of a young girl with Asperger’s syndrome.

No matter what type of book you’re looking for, Ann M. Martin’s extensive collection offers something for everyone. So, go ahead and start reading today!


Does Ann M. Martin only write children’s books?

Yes – throughout her career Martin wrote several popular children’s novels. Her most notable contribution to the genre was The Baby-Sitters Club series, which was released between 1986 and 2000.

Are Ann M. Martin’s novels middle-grade or young adult?

Martin’s novels are primarily written for children aged between 8 and 12, making them ideal for middle-graders. Her novels include some darker themes that are not typical of the middle-grade genre and instead, serve to help children transition to more mature literature.

Has Ann M. Martin written any series?

Yes – Martin is best known for The Baby-Sitters Club series. It follows the lives of four best friends: Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey.

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