The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
This article is about the original novel. For the graphic novel, see Jessi's Secret Language (Graphic Novel).

Jessi's Secret Language is the sixteenth book in The Baby-Sitters Club series. Jessi becomes the steady sitter for the Braddocks. Her secret language is sign language! She must learn sign language due to Matt Braddock being profoundly deaf.

Back Cover Summary[]

Jessi knows a secret language! She learned it from Matt Braddock, the BSC's newest charge. Matt's been deaf since birth, and he uses sign language to speak. Since Jessi is Matt's baby-sitter, she has to use sign language, too.

Soon all the kids in Stoneybrook want to learn to sign...which keeps the members of the Baby-sitters Club busy. Jessi's the busiest of all: she's working on another super secret, just for Matt.

Will Jessi be able to keep the secret and pull off her special event? Of course she will—she's a member of the Baby-sitters Club!


Main Plot[]

Jessi babysits for new clients, The Braddocks, who have a nine-year-old daughter, Haley and a seven-year-old son, Matthew, who is profoundly deaf. Jessi learns sign language and helps make Haley and Matt feel welcome in the neighborhood by showing the other kids about Matt's "secret language" and how much fun it is.


Jessi is having a hard time in her new ballet class. Being the new girl in class, she is given a hard time by two students, Hilary and Katie Beth. Jessi is is given the lead in the ballet school's production of "Coppelia." Later on, Hilary and Katie Beth act nicer towards Jessi.

Jessi also learns that Katie Beth's sister, Adele is deaf, but she and her family don't communicate sign language with her. After learning that Matt has never been to the theater, Jessi comes up with an idea to invite Matt's class to her opening night performance of "Coppelia." During the play, Haley narrates the story while Mrs. Braddock translates it.


Jessi's Family

Extended Family

BSC Members






  • Ramsey House
  • Stamford Ballet School
  • Kishi House
  • Prezzioso House
  • Pike House
  • Brewer/Thomas House
  • Stamford School of the Deaf

Pop Culture and Real-Life References[]

  • Squirrel Nutkin, The Secret Language, The Cat in the Hat, the Witch Next Door, Millions of Cat, Pinky Pye, The Christmas Day Kitten (books)
  • The New England Patriots and the Super Bowl

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]



  • In a first edition of the book class is spelled as closs on page 99.
  • On page 122 its said that Charlotte skipped third grade and went into fourth. In The Truth About Stacey Charlotte skipped second grade and into the third. When everyone went up a grade in Logan Likes Mary Anne! she moved into the fourth grade.

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter[]

Dear Reader,

When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom, about two girls at boarding school who invent a secret language for themselves. I especially loved the title. Later, when I wanted to write this book about American Sign Language, I remembered it and came up with the title Jessi's Secret Language. Although I don’t know much sign language myself, it has always interested me. And after meeting several hearing-impaired BSC fans, I wanted to include a hearing-impaired character in the series, so I created Matt Braddock.


  • Although the book states that Jessi learns American Sign Language, she is using signed English for "I" on the book cover.
  • A reprint of the book was released on May 4, 2021 [1]
  • Jessi heard Kristy say that she wished she had skin like Claudia's before.
  • Jessi mentions that she has to get braces like Mallory
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey put money toward Jessi's dance shoes most of the time.
  • A man named Mr. Geiger designed the houses on the street the Pike and the Braddock family live on. Jessi notes that they look alike on the inside.
  • Becca and Jessi sometimes don't even sit down to have a snack.
  • Jessi didn't meet Jenny until this book.
  • Matt first signs to the Pikes that he thinks the Patriots would win the super bowl.
  • Charlie, Sam, and Kristy go to a Stoneybrook High versus Mercer High basketball game together.
  • Jessi's favorite thing to sign is afraid.
  • Logan calls during a BSC meeting to talk to Mary Anne.
  • Tigger learned how to fetch.
  • This is the first book the Braddock Family is introduced in.
  • When Kristy baby-sits Becca and Squirt, it’s the first time she's been in that house since Stacey moved out.
  • Squirt calls ice cream “ackaminnie.” In Karen’s Newspaper, Lisa tells Karen that she used to call ice cream “ackaminnie.” In Claudia and the World’s Cutest Baby, in the Dear Reader letter Ann M. Martin says she called ice cream “ackaminnie.”


Baby-Sitters Club Books
The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House
Super Specials
#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
Portrait Collection
Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021) | The Official Coloring Book (2023)