Friday, November 20, 2009
I feel my life is going to be complete now, because I am going to get to refer to the Baby Sitters Club as well as the Box Car Children in this post. Here goes: After reading Paretsky's "Fire Sale" and having lots of "mystery book" talk in class I noticed that in "Fire Sale" there are many references to people from V.I.'s past etc. I think it is clear that one can pick up and read any book in the V.I. series, however if one starts at the start and follows the progression, one will follow along in the life of V.I. This reminds me very much of my guilty pleasures of childhood: The Baby Sitters Club and The Box Car Children. Both of these series, as I am sure many of you know, follow the same characters respectively. In the Baby Sitters Club, the books are told in the first person, by one of seven or eight characters that appear in all the books. They were a huge part of my pre-teen/tween life. I related to them, looked forward to their new books, and was hooked on them much like a soap opera. The funny thing is, the Baby Sitters Club girls always stayed in 8th grade, despite the fact that there are probably close to two hundred books in the series. This resulted in multiple Christmas and Thanksgiving themes and repeats of things like that. I also started to notice errors the more I read, but I let it slide. I guess keeping track of that many characters for that many books is near impossible. In the Box Car Children, I think, and I don't know for sure but this is my suspicion, I think there were ghost writers, because I believe the original author passed away even when there were "new" ones by her being put out. However, in the same way as mystery series, soap operas, and TV Drama's like Law and Order etc, the reader or viewer becomes attached to the characters, follow along in their life, and it is a great way to keep the audience interested. I think it is no mistake that from childhood to adulthood, through TV and books, audiences are drawn in and connected to such protagonists. It's an escape from our everyday life, into the life of someone who gets to solve mysteries and have an exciting life.